CompoundBlock Editor-CompoundWorksheet Editor/en

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Network Editor

The network editor is used to view and edit activity diagrams of compound blocks. It can be found on the "Network" tab after selecting a compound block in the navigation tree.

To the right, you see an example for an activity diagram in a network editor with the additional input (left) and output pins (right), which represent the pins of the edited block's schema (notice, that changed color preferences were in effect, when that screenshot was taken. By default, it shows a white background).

Toolbar

Network Editor Toolbar.png

The toolbar area consists of two different toolbars. The upper toolbar (Execution & Editor Toolbar) has a group of functions related to test execution and a group of functions for customizing the editor view. The second toolbar (Edit Function Toolbar) contains special editing functions.

Execution & Editor Toolbar

In the left function group of the toolbar you will find the buttons concerning the test execution of the single block being edited.

  • Icon Breakpoint.png Add/Remove a breakpoint to/from the selected step(s). The breakpoint will cause the execution to halt before about to be executed. This allows to analyze the system under test during test execution in a defined state. After a breakpoint the test run can be continued either normally or in single stepping mode.

  • Icon Run.png Start a test run (of the edited Block only) or continue after a breakpoint or execution pause. This allows for a changed block's functionality to be checked immediately, without a need to create an extra compound block or a testplan-item for it to be executed. If the edited block needs input values or other prerequisite setup for the test run, these should be defined in the tab named "Test/Demo" (which is the rightmost tab of the editor).

  • Icon RunWithDebugMode.png Start a test run but open a debugger window in case of test failure, even if the debugger is currently disabled in the settings. This kind of run is helpful during test development or error analysis. It enables debugging mode without changing the settings.

In the right area of the toolbar you will find the following functions for customizing the editor.

  • Icon Zoom In.png Scale down the size of the objects displayed in the diagram ("zoom out").
  • Icon Zoom Out.png Scale up the size of the objects displayed in the diagram ("zoom-in").

  • Icon Toggle Grid.png Toggle the grid display. The grid is displayed as a field of dots that spans the complete diagram area. Displaying the grid is a purely visual assistance, and does not affect the functionality in any way.
  • Icon Align To Grid.png Toggle the automatic grid alignment. When turned on, all motions of steps or connection-edges, will be aligned to the grid, to give some constant gap stepping to the diagram.

  • Icon Show Annotations.png Icon Hide Annotations.png Toggle if annotations are shown in the editing area. Turning off annotations is sometimes useful if you have annotations for a big graphic background image.


Edit Function Toolbar

All functions described below are available through the popUp menu (right-click) in the editor. The menu is context sensitive. This means, that depending on the current selection, different menus are shown. The most common functions are also provided in an extra toolbar. These toolbar buttons duplicate corresponding functions from the context menus.

Geometry Functions

  • Icon Align Left.png Align all selected steps to have the same ordinate for their left border. Does not resize steps.
  • Icon Align Right.png Align all selected steps to have the same ordinate for their right border. Does not resize steps.
  • Icon Align Top.png Align all selected steps to have the same ordinate for their top border. Does not resize steps.
  • Icon Align Bottom.png Align all selected steps to have the same ordinate for their bottom border. Does not resize steps.


  • Icon Align Left Right.png Align all selected steps to have the same ordinate for their right and left border. Steps are resized to match the first selected step's geometry.
  • Icon Align Top Bottom.png Align all selected steps to have the same ordinate for their top and bottom border. Steps are resized to match the first selected step's geometry.


  • Icon Center Horizontally.png Align all selected steps along their vertical centerline. Steps are moved horizontally to be aligned to the first selected step's centerline.
  • Icon Center Vertically.png Align all selected steps along their horizontal centerline. Steps are moved vertically to be aligned to the first selected step's centerline.


  • Icon Spread Horizontally.png Spread all selected steps for equal horizontal spacing between them. The first and last selected steps are not moved, but define the overall area taken by the group.
  • Icon Spread Vertically.png Spread all selected steps for equal vertical spacing between them. The first and last selected steps are not moved, but define the overall area taken by the group.


  • Icon Resize to Max.png Resize all selected steps to match the largest step within the selection.
  • Icon Resize to Min.png Resize all selected steps to match the smallest step within the selection.


  • Icon Spread Right.pngIncreases all horizontal distances by the same factor. Dimensions are not changed. This effectively spreads all selected steps towards the right.
  • Icon Spread Bottom.png Increases all vertical distances by the same factor. Dimensions are not changed. This effectively spreads all selected steps towards the bottom.
  • Icon Spread BottomRight.png Increases all distances by the same factor. Dimensions are not changed. This effectively spreads all selected steps towards the bottom-right edge.


  • Datei:Icon Resize Selection By.png (new in 2.8) Asks for a scale factor and resizes all selected items by that scale factor. The blocks remain at their origin and are resized to the right/bottom. This is useful if you find one or multiple blocks to be too small.
  • Datei:Icon Scale Selection By.png (new in 2.8) Asks for a scale factor and scales some or all of the diagram by that scale factor. The whole affected (sub-) diagram is scaled, both moving steps and resizing steps so that their relative sizes and positions remain the same. This is useful if you find the overall look of you diagram too crowded and/or need more space for connections, freeze values or textual annotations.

Execution Behavior Functions


  • Icon Toggle EIP.png Toggle the trigger in-pin of the selected steps.
  • Icon Toggle EOP.png Toggle the trigger out-pin of the selected steps.
  • Icon Execute Sequential.png Interconnect the selected steps for sequential execution via a chain of trigger-out -> trigger-in connections. Any number of steps can be chained, the steps will be connected in the order they were selected (top-left to bottom-right, if you did a shift-select).


  • Icon Remove Connection.png Remove all selected connections.
  • Icon Recompute Connection.png Recompute all selected connections. This "autorouter" tries to find a reasonable shortest path for the connection, trying to not cover other elements. However, you can manually change the path by dragging line segments of the connection path, and/or by inserting extra segments (see connection specific options menu below).



Indicators

  • AutoexecIndicator.png The step has the auto exec option flag set. The step will start even without a triggering input. This flag is required for steps of which all pins are non-triggering (for example, because they are "frozen" to fix values), or to steps which have no input pin at all.
  • DoNotExecuteIndicator.png Shown for skipped steps. Skipping steps is often useful during test-development, to skip over either unfinished actions, or when proceeding development after a change, to skip over already executed steps. When the test goes into production, however, all skip-flags should be removed.
  • UnlimitedParallelityIndicator.png Shown for steps which fork a new activity for every incoming set of values. If this flag is not set, incoming values are remembered in the step's input baskets, and will be processed sequentially. Notice that in releases prior to 1.9, the default execution mode was "parallel" and the user had to change this to "sequential" via an explicit menu action. Starting with 1.9, the default when placing new steps is now "sequential". Therefore, when you load old test-suites into a post-1.9 expecco editor, you will see these indicators all over the place.
  • IgnoreExceptions.png Shown for steps which ignore exceptions.
  • NoLog.png Shown for steps which are not traced in the activity log.
  • BreakPointed.png The step has a breakpoint set. When reached during a test run, the executor will pause and wait for either the "Run/Continue" or the "Single-Step" button to be pressed.


Attributes Dialog

Double click on the step or a connection to open the attribute dialog (*). This allows for the colors, look, and name of the step to be changed.

(*) this depends on your preferences settings: you can alternatively specify that a double click on a step adds another tab to the expecco user interface, in which the step's definition is edited.  

Common Options (Context Menu)

Common Options

When nothing is selected in the editor:

  • Undo
    Allows you to undo previous editing steps. The list of undo-able operations is cleared as soon as you apply your changes (by pressing the accept button). Once accepted, only major changes can be undone via the global undo function, which restores the previously accepted version(s).
  • Cut, Copy, and Paste
    These commands are valid for all selectable items. They appear in other context menus when applicable.
  • New Text Annotation
    This option creates a new textual annotation.
  • New Legend
    This option creates a legend, which is a text-annotation with info-macro (see annotation).
  • New Image Annotation
    This option creates a new image annotation.
  • New Step
    This option allows the quick creation of steps. When selected, a dialog appears to specify the type of action. Then, specify the position by moving the mouse to the desired upper-left corner.
  • Recompute all Connections
    This option recomputes of all connections in the diagram (routing algorithm).

 

Step Specific Options (Context Menu)

Step Options

When one or more steps are selected in the editor:

  • Rename
    This option allows to rename the selected step. Selecting it opens a text input field at the top of the step's representation box. Starting with expecco2.8, multiline step names are possible by separating the lines with a "\" (backslash) character. A double-click on a step opens an attributes dialog, in which the name can also be edited.

    Notice that steps which have never been given an explicit name will always show the name of their underlying action block (from the tree) as their name. Thus, the name of a step will follow any changes done there. However, once renamed, the step's name will remain whatever has been entered here. To enforce the old state where the step's name follows the action's name, rename and enter an empty name (i.e. select and cut the name in the rename-field).

  • Special Pins
    This sub menu allows adding special pins for the selected step. For more information see: Pin
Special Pins

Controlling Execution

  • Execution
    This sub menu provides several execution related options. Its functions include the switching of special trigger types, parallelism settings, and execution modes.
Execution
  • Autostart
    This check box allows to switch the autostart mode on or off. Steps with this option on are started automatically each time the work flow is executed. You can recognize them by the yellow flash symbol on the top left of the step's representation box.
  • Sequential Execution
    This option interconnects the selected steps for sequential execution. The steps will be connected in the order they were selected.
  • Breakpoint
    This check box allows to set or remove a breakpoint for the selected step.
  • Immediately fork new Activity-process
    This check box serves to switch the fork new activity thread mode on or off. When this option is checked, an activity will immediately executed in a parallel thread; if it is off, the executor gives the block some time to execute sequentially, and later starts a new thread. To indicate that immediate-fork mode is on, a parallelism symbol is displayed at the top right of the step's representation box, but only if there is at least one triggering input pin or a direct trigger pin connected, or autostart activated.
  • Limit Parallelism To...
    This option is used to adjust a maximum number for the activities executed in parallel. When selected, a dialog box opens up, asking to input the maximum number.
    Initially, no limit is set. If a limit is specified in the dialog, the number appears to the top right of the step's representation box, but only if there is at least one triggering input pin or a direct trigger pin connected, or autostart activated.
  • Unlimited Parallelism
    This option is the counterpart to the 'Limit Parallelism To...' option. It is only available when a limit is adjusted for the selected step, and annuls this limitation.

Controlling Logging and Tracing

  • Logging
    This submenu provides several options to control the activity-log/trace. Its functions include the disabling of the log unconditionally, if finished with success or without success or if executed in a loop. Both the step itself and/or subactivities of the step can be controlled. The disabling of log/trace information may be required for long running test suites, to prevent reaching any memory limits (and also, to make the activity log more readable).
  • Skip
    if this attribute is set, the activity will never be logged/traced. This function is also available via the editor's toolbar.
  • Skip If Successful
    if this attribute is set, the activity will not be logged/traced if the step was executed successfully.
  • Skip If Not Successful
    if this attribute is set, the activity will not be logged/traced if the step was executed unsuccessfully.
  • Skip If Looped
    if this attribute is set, the activity will not be logged/traced if the step was executed in a loop.
  • Skip Subactivities
    if this attribute is set, the activity's subactivities will never be logged/traced. This function is also available via the editor's toolbar.
  • Skip Subactivities If Successful
    if this attribute is set, the activity's subactivities will not be logged/traced if the step was executed successfully.
  • Skip Subactivities If Not Successful
    if this attribute is set, the activity's subactivities will not be logged/traced if the step was executed unsuccessfully.
  • Skip Subactivities If Looped
    if this attribute is set, the activity's subactivities will not be logged/traced if the step was executed in a loop.

The user settings dialog ("Settings" -> "Execution" -> "Logging") contains a flag named "Ignore all Skip in Trace Attributes", which enforces trace information to be logged, even for steps with one of the above attributes. This is very useful for debugging, to force the generate a full trace - even for suites which contain steps with suppressed logs.

  • Operations
    This sub menu provides several options for step substitutions. This includes replacing, substituting and expanding of single steps or compounds of steps.
Operations
  • Replace By...
    This option replaces an existing step within the current diagram by a substitute step of a block to be chosen. To chose the substitute block, a dialog containing a selection list is opened, showing either all blocks available in the test suite, or only those which pins numbers are the same as that of the block to be substituted. This can be switched with the dialog's button which accordingly displays either "Blocks with same Number of Pins ..." or "All Blocks ...".
    If the substitute step has less pins on a side than the one to be substituted, existing connections are kept only up to the number of pins of the new step. Connections between newly incompatible pin types are also lost.
  • Make New Compound Block...
    This option allows to replace whole compounds of the diagram by an automatically generated new compound block, which then contains all the steps that were selected, when necessary creating additional input and output pins to keep the wiring semantics unaffected.
  • Make New Web Parameter Block...
    This option allows to replace whole compounds of the diagram by an automatically generated new web parameter block, which then contains all the steps that were selected and has a special pin to read parameters from for example a csv file. This can be useful e.g. to fill in form.
  • Expand Compound Step...
    This option is kind of the counterpart to the previously described 'Make New Compound Block ...' option. It duplicates all internal Steps inside the selected Step's Internal Network, and inserts the complete duplicate set in the left area of the work flow Editor's view. It does not only duplicate the Steps, but also the wiring, and the Step's attributes (triggers, pin settings, execution settings etc.). The selection changes upon the inserted Steps, so they can be moved to a fitting location collectively.
  • Add Input...
    This option allows the creation of additional input pins for the selected step. You will be asked to enter a name and a data type for the new pin.
  • Add Output...
    This option allows the creation of additional output pins for the selected step. You will be asked to enter a name and a data type for the new pin.
  • Attributes...
    This option allows to change different attributes like the color for single steps.
  • References...
    This option shows all references on the selected step. For example its block description.
  • Add Extra Page on Selected Item


Pin Specific Options (Context Menu)

Input Pin
Output Pin

When an input pin is selected in the editor:

  • Freeze (as)
    This option applies to all data input pins and trigger Input pins, except for the cancel pin. The identifier of the data type in the menu entry differs depending on the data type of the pin. It allows, for most standard data types, presetting the input value according to the data type, by typing a valid value into a text input field.
  • Read from Environment Variable...
    This option applies to all data input and some trigger input pins. The option is only available if the selected pin is not connected to any value delivering output pin. Selecting this option causes a dialog to open up, allowing specifying the environment variable's name in a text input field. For more information see: Environment Freeze Value
  • Unfreeze
    This option applies to all data input and trigger input pins, but is only available if the selected pin is frozen to a value or to an environment variable. No matter if the pin was preset with a direct value or with an environment variable, the preset information will be lost, and the pin is connect able to adequate output pins again.
  • Show Data-type
    This option opens a view which shows the pin's data type.
  • Parameter
    This check box applies to data input pins only. If checked, the pin will not be comprised in the triggering function for the data input pins. For more information see: Input Pin
  • Limit Basket Buffer To...
    This option applies to all data input pins. Selecting this option causes a dialog to open up, allowing specifying the (integer) maximum number of values that the pin should keep in a buffer before suspending subsequent value delivering activities. After entering a valid number and confirming with "OK", the pin is limited to that number, which is indicated by displaying the number to the left top of the pin, as depicted to the right.
  • Unlimited Basket Buffer
    This option applies to all data input pins, but only appears if the selected pin has a basket buffer limit set. In this case, selecting this option will clear the limit, and the pin appears without a limit indication again.

When an output pin is selected in the editor:

  • Buffered
    This check box applies to data output pins only. It serves to switch the buffering mode of the pin on or off. For more information see: Output Pin


Connection Specific Options (Context Menu)

Connection

When a connection is selected in the editor:

  • Disconnect
    This option simply removes the connection.
  • Recompute Connection
    This option initiates an automatic re-layout of the connection's edges. There is no guarantee that this will meet your expectations. However, trying it is low risk, because the change can be immediately undone with the "Undo" option.
  • Split Segment
    This option causes the selected connection to split into multiple parts. By this, you get four additional edges which are each individually transposable.
  • Join Segments
    This option is the counterpart for the "Split Segments" option. It joins previously split connections.
  • Arrow
    This check box allows to switch arrows on and off which help to keep track of the connection's direction.
  • Disable Type-check (force Valid)
    This option disables the type check. So every input pin can be connected with any output pin regardless of their data types.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • CTRL-s - "Save"; same as clicking on the "Accept"/"Save" button. Makes the changes made to the diagram permanent (i.e. installs the new version of the action in the project tree)
  • CTRL-a - select all
  • CTRL-e - select all below
  • Tab - select the next step which is below/right-of the selected one
  • ShiftTab - select the previous step which is above/left-of the selected one (expecco vsn2.12)
  • CTRL-c - copy the selected elements into the clipboard (for paste)
  • CTRL-x - cut the selected elements and place them into the clipboard (for paste)
  • CTRL-v - paste elements from the clipboard
  • Delete - delete the selected elements (without placing them into the clipboard)
  • CTRL-z - undo the previous edit operation
  • CursorUp - moves the selected element(s) up (by one grid step). If the Shift is also pressed, the element(s) are moved by 8 grid steps.
  • CursorDown - similar, but moves the selected element(s) down.
  • CursorLeft - similar, but moves the selected element(s) to the left.
  • CursorRight - similar, but moves the selected element(s) to the right.
  • CTRL-n - opens the "New Step" menu to select an action and place a step for it
  • CTRL-r - opens the "Replace Step" menu to select an action and replace the selected step by it
  • F2 ("Rename") - opens the "Rename Step" menu, asking for a new name for the selected step
  • CTRL-p - toggles the selected pin's "Parameter-Pin" attribute.
  • CTRL-CursorUp - moves the selected pin up in the action's schema.
  • CTRL-CursorDown - moves the selected pin down in the action's schema.
  • CTRL-t - adds a "New Text Annotation"
  • CTRL-g - opens the "New Graphic Annotation" menu to select a bitmap image and place it as an annotation
  • Return - adds an extra editor-page on the selected step's action to the browser window

Tasks

Adding Steps

When a block is dropped into a diagram (from the project tree view on the left, via the popup menu, via a CTRL-n shortcut or by copy-paste), a so-called "step" is created. A rectangular box appears, which represents the newly created step. The step is initially selected, indicated by the red outline. Selected items always appear outlined with the selection color, which is red by default, but can be changed in the settings.

Usually, when creating steps, they are initially displayed with a red exclamation mark symbol at the top right of the representation box. This indicates that the step as it is currently set up, would not run when the diagram is executed. This is the case if the step has no triggering data inputs connected, no trigger input, and also no autostart flag activated. If neither of those is the case, the step has no trigger, will not run and is therefore marked in this manner. It is usually (but not necessarily) not intended to have such passive (unexecuted) steps in a diagram. However, sometimes you may want to leave them in a diagram for documentation purposes, or for quick and dirty test actions in a playground.

Steps can be added to the activity diagram either by drag & drop, via the popup menu, by copy-paste or the keyboard shortcut "CTRL-n".

To use drag&drop, drag one ore more items from a navigation tree and drop them into the network editor's display area. If multiple blocks are selected in the navigation tree, they can be dragged in one motion all together.

Be aware that the navigation tree of the browser serves both as a source for drag AND to select the block to be edited. If you select AND keep holding down the mouse button, this initiates a drag&drop operation. If you simply click and release the mouse button, this performs a select operation (and you may end up in another diagram).

It is therefore sometimes difficult to use this one single tree as a drag source, and it is a therefore good idea to tear off a separate floating navigation tree or to split the navigation tree into one for navigation, and another for drag&drop. Floating and split windows do not affect the selection, but serve solely as a drag&drop source.

To use the popup-menu, select one of the "New Step" items. You can either have an existing action block placed ("existing action") or create a new action. If an existing action is chosen, a dialog pops up, asking for the type of action to add. There are a number of filter options, to help finding the right action in bigger test suites.

For new actions, a corresponding new item is automatically created as empty action in the left navigation tree.

A very useful function is "Place New Step and Connect". This is enabled if you have a number of pins of existing steps already selected. It will offer a list of matching steps that are useful with that pin selection (i.e. the number of pins and their data types must match).

All of the menu-initiated step creation functions allow for the action to be chosen from a filtered list of available actions. The filter operates by looking at the name and tag(s) of the actions. If multiple filtering words are entered (separated by semicolons), only actions which contain ALL of those string match patterns will be shown. For example, to get a list of all selenium actions which deal with text validation, enter a filter string like "selenium;text".

Block descriptions that are tagged as "obsolete" will never be shown in the popup-menus.

Selecting Steps

Steps are selected by a left-click. Additional steps are selected by holding down the Shift-key in conjunction to the left mouse button: similar to text selection, all steps between the previously selected one and the new clicked step are selected (in a top-left to bottom-right fashion). In a similar way, pressing the Control-key (CTRL or STRG) toggles steps into or out of the selection.

Another possibility to select multiple steps at a time is to mark a selection rectangle area with the mouse (lasso), which selects all steps (and other elements) that are within that area. You have to click outside of any step (in the background area) to start a lasso selection. If you have many attachments or background graphics in your diagram, it may become hard to find an unoccupied background area. For this, you can toggle the visibility of all annotations, to get them "out of the way".

Finally, pressing "CTRL-a" selects all elements of the diagram, and "CTRL-e" selects the steps below the current selected step. These are useful to reposition all or bigger parts of the diagram within the page (for example, to make more space at the top).

Arranging Steps

To move steps to a different location, you can click on it, hold the button, and move it with the mouse. While moving, an equally sized shadow box shows where the new position would be. Selected steps can also be moved via the cursor keys.

If the clicked step was not selected yet when picking it, it will be selected and moved solely. If, on the other hand, the clicked step was part of a current multi selection, the whole selection is picked and moved, including all connections between them.

When you place steps outside the current diagram boundaries, these will automatically be extended to fit the new position of the moved steps.

Additional arrangement-functions (spreading, aligning etc.) are found in the context-menu and the tool bar menu.

Interconnecting Pins

Steps exchange data and control information via connected pins.

To create a connection, click on one of the two pins you want to interconnect, keep the mouse button pressed, and move the mouse to the other pin. To keep track of what you do, a rubber-band line is drawn from the starting pin to your mouse position. The mouse-symbol is changed to a "thumb-down" while over an invalid target pin, and the reason for being an invalid connection is shown in the lower info area. The mouse changes back to a regular arrow, when it reaches a valid partner pin. When you release the mouse button over a valid target pin, a rectangular connection will automatically be created. If the target pin is not suitable for the operation, no connection is created.

Note that interconnecting pins underlies certain restrictions:

  • You cannot connect an output pin to another output pin, nor an input pin to another input pin. However, the editor implements a very useful and noticeable UI scheme, in that it connects the input to the "SAME" output or value as the connected to input. (1).
  • Inside the network, the roles of the compound actions input/output pins are reversed (i.e. the compound's input pins are treated like outputs inside the network).
  • You can only interconnect input and output pins that have compatible datatypes. Usually, you interconnect pins of the same data type, or to a related data type, like an integer output to a float input. An input pin with the "any" data type can be interconnected to any other pin, but not vice versa; an "any" output pin can only be connected to another "any" input pin, unless you add a cast or conversion step in between (2). In some situations, this type restriction may be too strict, and you want to connect pins, even if the types do not match. This happens, when pin types have been declared too strict on the input side or too generic on the output side. For example, a block generating values of type "Number" is too generic for an input which accepts only "Integers" (because other numbers may not be handled correctly). You can disable the type check and force a connection by pressing the "CTRL"-key while connecting two pins. The connection will be shown as a dashed line, to remind you, that this may cause trouble. By selecting "Disable Type Check" via the connection's right-button menu, you can tell the system that your types are OK, and it should no longer be shown as dashed line.

In principle, you can only connect output pins to input pins, because the intention of a connection is to pass output values from an output to an input. However, an attempt to connect two outputs lets the editor search for the corresponding input pin and create a valid input-output connection.

You are not bound to the wiring arrangement as it is created automatically. Instead, you can click on a connection to select it, and then move each of its edges individually to a different ordinate. However, the connections will be automatically laid out again when you move or substitute a step which is involved in this connection.

To transpose an edge (i.e. resize a step), left-click on the edge, hold the button down, and then drag the edge to the desired position. During motion, a ghost line is drawn to keep track of what you are doing.

You can also add new edges to the connection, by selecting it, right-clicking the edge into which a new angle branch shall be inserted, and the choosing the "Split Connection" option from the context menu.

There is one more special display mode for connections: If a connection already exists, but a later data type change to either the input or the output pin violates the data type compatibility of the connection, the connection will be drawn as a dotted line (i.e. marked as "invalid"). It can be edited like before, but remains marked as invalid until the data type compatibility is restored in any valid manner.

1) If you try to connect two inputs, the connection will be done to the already connected output. This makes it easier to place and connect more actions to an existing output if the diagram is big and the output is far away. If the target pin is frozen, the originating input will take over the same freeze value.

2) An "unsafe" connection can be created by pressing the CTRL-key during the connect. This creates a non-type-safe connection. Use this with care, for a temporary workaround, until either a pin's type has been changed, or an appropriate converter has been added.


Adding Annotations

Textual and bitmap annotations (notes) can be placed into the diagram to provide additional information for and commentary. Use the popup-menu's "New Annotation" entry, and change the annotation's attributes as required. See Annotations for attributes of an annotation.

Hints and Tricks

Using Colors

You can highlight the main path through a network by giving the steps along it a different color from other helper steps, for example, logging or error handling steps. Or vice versa, if you prefer. Also, connections can be given different color, depending on their semantic meaning (again, a typical example is to colorize error handling paths with a reddish color).

Using Annotations as Background

You can use an arbitrary background image and place your diagram elements above it. Typical uses are company frames with logo, design and architecture pictures or other useful graphics which emphasizes on the structure of the network.

Using Empty Annotations as Background Boxes

You can also use empty rectangular text-annotations to group steps into functional groups (or example: data preparation, communication, validation). To do this, enter a space as text annotation, then resize the annotations's box, then give it a background color via its attributes. If boxes are reused often, copy-paste them from another (template) diagram.

Select a Pin for Automatic Connection

If you have a pin selected when a new step is dropped or created via the CTRL-n dialog, and the new step has a compatible pin, these two pins will be automatically connected.



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