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The following picture shows the typical PowerDesigner interface:


The %URZVHU is a tool for managing information.


In PowerDesigner, the Browser allows you to manage the information items


you use to perform a modeling task.


The Browser displays information in the WUHH YLHZ which is a powerful tool


for navigating among all models existing in the work session.

Output window

The 2XWSXW ZLQGRZ shows the progress of any process that you run from


PowerDesigner in the General page. The other pages display messages during


check model, database generation, and reverse engineering operations.


The PowerDesigner UHSRVLWRU\ is a tool for storing versioned documents. In


the repository, a document can be a model, a multi-model report, a MS Word


file, a graphic file, etc.

Result List

The 5HVXOW /LVW displays, on separate tabs, the final results of an object


search or a check model operation.


When you check a model, the result list displays the errors and warnings


detected during the verification of the model.


When you perform an object search, the result list displays all objects


matching the search criteria.

General Features Guide



Work area The ZRUN DUHD is the primary window that displays the following types of MDI child windows:

The GLDJUDP window is a graphical view displaying the symbols of objects belonging to models or packages

The 5HSRUW (GLWRU is a tool for building and editing reports based on your models

The 5HSRUW 7HPSODWH (GLWRU is a tool for creating and customizing report templates


The ZRUN DUHD is an open work environment that enables you to switch from


one window to another, without having to close the current model diagram


window, or the editor.

Property sheets

3URSHUW\ VKHHWV display the properties of a selected object.


Property sheets are modeless and resizable windows; they can remain open


while you open other windows, such as other property sheets or lists.

Object lists

2EMHFW OLVWV display all objects of a selected type existing in a package or a




Lists display object properties organized in columns. In a list you can drag


and drop items, sort columns, and define and apply a filter.


Lists are modeless and resizable windows. They can remain open while you


open other windows, such as property sheets or lists.






The typical hierarchy of objects in PowerDesigner is as follows:


The ZRUNVSDFH is the root of the Browser tree view. When you expand the


workspace, the first optional organization level is the IROGHU Folders are


used to organize the contents of the workspace. Each folder can contain one


or more models.


The PRGHO is the basic design unit in PowerDesigner.


A model can be divided into sub-sets called SDFNDJHV. Each model, or


package, has one or more graphical views called GLDJUDPV, which contain


the symbols of the design REMHFWV.


To document the models you build in PowerDesigner, you can create and


print UHSRUWV in different languages that can be attached to a model or remain




A workspace defines the entire set of information you need to perform a


modeling task with PowerDesigner. A workspace is local, it corresponds to


the needs of one user on a given machine.


The workspace allows you to save in a file, a local environment with a


hierarchy of folders and models. It is reusable so the folder structure and data


location information remains on your disk every time you start a session.


You can create several workspace files on your machine, but you can only


work in one workspace at a time in a PowerDesigner session.


A folder is a optional container designed to help you organize the hierarchy


within a workspace. You use folders to structure the contents of the


workspace in your local work environment.


A folder is local to a workspace you cannot share the folder structure you


have created with other users.


A model is a container of objects. It is the main design unit.


A model is defined by a name, a type, a file name and a location in the



General Features Guide



You can build the following types of models:



Conceptual Data

Represents the overall logical structure of a system. The


CDM contains data objects not yet implemented in the


physical database. It provides a formal representation of the


data needed to run an enterprise or a business activity

Physical Data

Specifies the physical implementation of a database. With the


PDM you consider the details of actual physical


implementation. It addresses both data access and data


storage constraints


Allows you to design object-oriented models using the UML


notation. With the OOM you can use design classes that


interact to perform certain actions that together make up a


system of information

Business Process

Represents a simplified UML activity diagram with Business


Process extensions. The BPM does not include any


implementation details and can be readily used as an input


document to do object-oriented analysis. At a conceptual


level, it is particularly suitable for analyzing, designing or


documenting Business-to-Business exchanges (B2B)

Free Model

Allows you to create different graphics for your


specifications, to explain the architecture of your system and


applications, the use-case scenarii of the applications, the


flowcharts, or to define your own method



The following illustration shows the PowerDesigner global software solution:

You can organize a model by dividing it up into packages. You can also divide the display over several diagrams.








A package is a subdivision of a model. When you are working with large


models, it is useful to split them into smaller subdivisions in order to avoid


manipulating large sets of items. Packages are used to assign different tasks


or subject areas, to different development teams.


A model can contain any number of packages. You can build a hierarchy of


packages, in which there is no limit to the level of decomposition.


A report is the association of one or several models, a structure, and a


selection of objects. It represents the structure of one or more models. You


can generate multi-model reports to give a clear overview of all your models


in the same report. You can also generate individual model reports to focus


on a particular model and analyze its contents. Besides, you can choose the


language in which the report is generated.


A diagram is a graphical view of a model or package, which displays object


symbols. Diagrams allow to split the display of large models and packages in


order to focus on certain objects or subject areas. They can also be used to


view the symbols of the same objects, displayed with different kinds of




You can create several diagrams in a model or in a package. The diagram


window usually appears with a specialized toolbar called 3DOHWWH. In the


palette, you can select tools to create objects in your models and packages.

Model Objects

Model objects is a general term used for all items belonging to a model. Each


model includes a series of different object types corresponding to the type of


the model.


Some model objects can have graphical symbols for example a class in the


Object-Oriented Model or a view in the Physical Data Model. Other model


objects, such as business rules, do not appear with symbols in the diagram


window, although they exist in the model.

General Features Guide





PowerDesigner ships with resources that are available for all models, you can


reuse resources from one model to another.


A '%06 in PowerDesigner is an object that contains specifications for a


particular DBMS. It provides PowerDesigner with the syntax and guidelines


for generating databases, triggers, and procedures, appropriate for a target


DBMS or ODBC driver.


When you create a new PDM, you choose a target DBMS, which can be


linked to the model from an external file, or copied locally to the model. The


definition for a DBMS can be edited from its property sheet.


Modifications to a linked DBMS are available to all models using that


DBMS, while modifications to a local DBMS are specific to the model



Report templates

The 5HSRUW 7HPSODWH (GLWRU allows template creation and modification in


different languages. A report template is an independent and reusable file


saved on your hard disk, which gives the overall structure of your report. You


can create this file to generate model reports or PXOWL PRGHO UHSRUWV (several


models in the same report).


You use the Report Editor to define a report structure in order to generate a


multi-model report or a report for a single model.


A report uses one or several templates to associate one or several models, and


a selection of objects. It reflects the contents of one or several models. You


can generate multi-model reports or model reports.


A report can be attached to a model or saved in an independent file.

Object Languages

The REMHFW ODQJXDJHV resource contains specifications for a particular


language. It provides PowerDesigner with the syntax and guidelines for


implementing stereotypes, data types, scripts and constants for a target




When you create a new OOM, you choose a target language. The definition


for a target language can be edited from its property sheet.


Modifications to a linked language are available to all models using that


target language.

Extended Model

An H[WHQGHG PRGHO GHILQLWLRQ allows you to expand object definitions. To


do this, an extended model definition is created and saved as a file with the


XEM extension. You can create or attach one or several extended model


definitions to a model.








A profile is an extension mechanism used for customizing a metamodel with


additional semantics. Profiles are used for creating sub-categories of objects


(stereotypes and criteria), customizing the graphics of objects, adding


additional metadata to objects (extended attributes), and defining new or


modified generation capabilities (templates). You create a profile when you


need to design a user-defined methodology, a model with predefined meaning


or for a specific generation target.


Profiles appear in all DBMS, object languages and extended model


definitions delivered with PowerDesigner. By default, each new resource file


has a profile upon creation.


For more information on profiles, see section Managing Profiles in the



Report Languages

A UHSRUW ODQJXDJH resource is a file in XML format saved with the .XRL


extension. It contains all the printable texts of a report and their default


values. You use it when you create your report and later generate it whatever


the output. A report language resource file is stored in a central area and can


be shared by any report to guarantee data consistency and save time to the



Conversion Tables

&RQYHUVLRQ WDEOHV provide a way to define a correspondence between the


name and the code of an object or the code and the name of an object.


Conversion tables are stored into separate CSV (Comma-Separated Values)


files and are shared by all models.

General Features Guide





C H A P T E R 2


About this chapter

This chapter describes the PowerDesigner general interface and explains how


to use the different components.







Managing windows



Managing toolbars



Using property sheets



Using lists



Defining global options


General Features Guide




The PowerDesigner main window is divided into different windows with independent behavior.


When you open PowerDesigner, the following interface appears:

In the upper part of the window, you can see the PowerDesigner general title bar and the menu bar. Below the general menus, the standard toolbar displays tools for carrying out standard operations such as Open, Save or Undo.

Two dockable windows are displayed by default when you open PowerDesigner: the Browser tree view on the left and the Output window at the bottom.

On the right hand side, the work area is empty upon opening. This area is used to display the different MDI child windows.



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