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PowerDesigner object template

in erwin we could create "template" files, which could be used to specify various presentation aspects for objects presented on diagrams across models. Examples included

Conceptual Models: Using color to indicate the alignment of an entity with a related entity (Party, Event, etc.) on the enterprise subject model, and present the content using a specific font.

Physical Models:

  • Specify a "new table" template that outlined any tables to which it was applied with a specific color, presented the columns, indexes, etc., in a specified font and color, etc.
  • Specify a "new column" template that controlled the highlighting and font of columns newly added to a table.
  • Specify a "parent" template that would show only crucial information about a parent table in a relationship, saving space on the diagram for the essential content in child tables.

Is there a way to do the same in PowerDesigner?

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2 Answers

  • Posted on Sep 09, 2019 at 09:03 AM

    Hello Kyl

    You certainly can create template models in PowerDesigner. There are three steps you need to take:

    1. In Tools | General Options, go to the Model Creation Settings, enable the use of model templates and set the path for them (this might already have been done for you)
    2. Save your template models in this path - make sure you describe what the template is for in the model's Comment property - this will show up in the next step
    3. When you create a model, click on the Templates icon on the left of the creation dialogue. Select your chosen template model - the new model will be a copy of the template model.

    Please note that future changes to a template do not affect existing models.

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  • Posted on Sep 09, 2019 at 09:24 AM

    Sorry Kyl, I misread your question. There are ways of doing most of what you ask, but not exactly how Erwin does it.

    Here are some suggestions for use in the PowerDesigner GUI:

    • you have default Display Preferences, which you can use to set the default style for symbols. You can also use it to make change the default style for a given diagram
    • you can change the format and include or exclude content for an individual symbol (such as a table) by right-clicking it and selecting 'format'. This includes setting the font styles as you describe, and you can change the font for individual columns. There is no automatic way of setting a different font for new columns.
    • you can copy the format from one symbol to one or more other symbols using Get Format and Apply Format on the right-click menu

    In addition, you can use model extensions to help automate some of these as well. For example, let's assume that you have an extended property on an entity that tells you which subject area owns it - in the extension, you can create a set of 'criteria' that will automatically apply different custom symbols depending on the subject area. If all you want is to change the colour, I think Custom Symbols are too drastic. I would take a different approach, and write a script that changes selected elements of symbol formats (such as the line colour). This script could be triggered in several ways - custom model check, right-clicking the diagram background, via Tools | Execute Commands.

    To switch between showing minimal content and a lot of content for a table symbol, again use a script - it can triggered by right-clicking either the tables, or the relationships, or even the diagram if you want to apply it to every table symbol.

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