Wednesday 29 December 2021

IBM Engineering Rhapsody Tip #101 - Transition Label toolbar tips and tricks

This is one for those Rhapsody cureos out there, as it is something that I only recently discovered (like this week!) and I think is genuinely useful, which is the ability to add a Transition Label tool to the activity diagram (which does not have it by default). The video first shows how the Transition Label tool works on statecharts (state machine diagrams) and then goes on to how it can be added to the default activity diagram toolbar. Arguably it's even more useful for the activity diagram as it removes clicks when adding guards to transitions coming out of a control flow. Anyway, I'll let you decide. Have fun.

Here's the transcript for those that need it:

I was recently documenting the drawing toolbars for some client docs, and my attention was drawn to the statechart's Transition Label tool (I've rarely used).

When you first draw a transition between states, you get a "first time" opportunity to type its text. Feature like Intellivisor (Ctrl+Space) are available.

If you don't type anything then you lose the opportunity.

Options are to right-click and use Select Trigger to select a trigger (which you can then edit). More commonly users will open the Features General tab for the transition to enter the information.

The Statechart's Transition Label tool enables you to get edit mode back on a transition with no text. When you click on a transition with no text, the Transition Label tool gives you the text editor back.

The Transition Label is a useful tool in the Statechart's armoury therefore, so why not make it a useful tool in the Activity Diagram toolbar as well?

One of the side effects of moving to online delivery of my training has been that I get to watch people's screens when they're using Rhapsody.

A common task in activity modeling is putting guards on control flows coming out of decision nodes using the Features window. It's a bit of a faff to be honest.

The Activity Diagram drawing toolbar does not have a Transition Label but why not add it, I thought?

As no other customizations are present, I'll quickly show it works by locally overriding the General::Graphics::ActivityDiagramToolbar property. Here it is! and it works!

Since I rarely use Rhapsody without customisations, I've just added it to the textual activity diagram toolbar in my ExecutableMBSEProfile. This diagram is based on a new term stereotype. Its toolbar is defined using different a different set of properties (I update these using a metamodel & associated profile nowadays).

I can complete the diagram without using the Features window now! How cool is that? ;-)

Interested in Rhapsody training/customizations then feel free to email me.

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