Please note : This help page is for an older version of Enteprise Archtiect. The latest help can be found here.

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System Boundary Properties

The System Boundary element has a small set of properties that are mainly concerned with the appearance of the element. You can also apply other element control options such as default appearance, locking the element and applying an image to the element.

Access

Ribbon

Design > Element > Manage > Properties

Context Menu

Right-click on Boundary element | Properties

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt+Enter

Other

Right-click on Boundary element | Appearance | Shape

Set System Boundary Properties

Field/Option/Button

Action

See also

Name

(Optional) Type a name for the element.

Shape

Click on the drop-down arrow and select from these options:

  • 'Rectangle' - if you have previously switched from the default rectangular border with sharp corners, return to that default
  • 'Rounded Rectangle' - set the shape to a rectangle with rounded corners
  • 'Ellipse' - set the shape to a circle or oval to accommodate the enclosed elements
  • 'User Defined - Orthogonal' - enable setting drag-points on the border to create a custom orthogonal (block) shape (see the Customize System Boundary section)
  • 'User Defined - Freeform' - enable setting drag-points on the border to create a custom freeform shape (see the Customize System Boundary section)

Style

Click on the drop-down arrow and select from these options:

  • Solid - a solid line border with the system default element fill color
  • Dotted - a dotted line border with no element fill color
  • Dashed - a broken line border with no element fill color
  • Solid-No Fill - a solid line border with no element fill color

Horizontal Swim Lanes

Type in the number of horizontal segments you want to divide the element into, to group the elements in the System Boundary in a horizontal context (for example, Client, Application and Database tiers could be represented in swim lanes).

The field defaults to 1.

The swim lanes are equal divisions of the System Boundary - you cannot change their relative heights.

Vertical Swim Lanes

Type in the number of vertical segments you want to divide the element into, to group the elements in the System Boundary in a vertical context.

The field defaults to '1'.

The swim lanes are equal divisions of the System Boundary - you cannot change their relative widths.

Customize System Boundary

When you have selected one of the 'User Defined' options in the 'Shape' field, you can add way-points to the sides of the System Boundary, to drag in a direction to create a new shape. This helps you to create irregular shapes that enclose dispersed elements that cannot be captured in a simple rectangle or ellipse.

The 'Orthogonal' variant helps you to create shapes with vertical and horizontal lines, whilst the 'Freeform' variant helps you to create diagonal lines.

To set a way-point on an edge:

  • Press Shift+click, Ctrl+click or Ctrl+Q on the appropriate point on the edge

To clear a way-point:

  • Press Shift+click, Ctrl+click or Ctrl+Q on it

To move a way point:

  • Click on the boundary to display all way-points, position the cursor on the required way-point so that it changes to green, and then click and drag the way-point; when you move the cursor onto the border, the waypoints on either side of the cursor turn green and you can click and drag that segment of the border

If you create a 'Freeform' shape and then change the 'Shape' setting to 'User Defined - Orthogonal', the system converts all diagonal lines to vertical or horizontal lines. You might then have to adjust the shape so that it has fewer lines. If you try to drag an orthogonal way-point in a diagonal direction, the horizontal and vertical lines adjust to maintain a right-angle at the cursor position.

Example Shapes

Notes

  • Diagram-specific options for Boundaries (shape, border style, swimlane count) are locked if the diagram is locked or if the user does not have access permissions to update diagrams; the 'Name' field can be updated
  • The Boundary element 'Name' field is locked if the element is locked or the user does not have access permissions to update elements; the other fields can be changed