Image Asset support
One of the numerous Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect strengths is its very good support in rendering images. The most common way to add images in EA is via a copy and Paste Image from Clipboard. The image is created in its Image library and linked with the newly created boundary element. EA Image Library can be opened to access all stored images:
Note: new images pasted from the clipboard are named Image001, Image002, etc. It is recommended to rename them.
As an alternative to this image library, EA has introduced since version 13 a way to manage images as elements within the Browser via Image Assets. This is useful when a repository stores many images that need to be organized by packages. Note that images from the library can be converted to Image Asset Elements. A simple way to add Image Assets to your repository is to drag and drop an image file to EA and select the option Image Asset. The result is an image stereotyped artefact in your browser that you can rename and move in the browser if needed.
Important: image asset elements are not supposed to be used directly on a diagram; instead they should be set as the "alternate image" for an element such as a class, use case, actor, component, boundary, etc. That's why in EA 15 and above, a drag and drop of an Image Asset from the Browser on a diagram suggests to either add it (link), as an alternate image of an existing target element, or as the image of a new element.
The following illustrates the creation of a new class, rendered with the Image asset:
Create a boundary element from an Image Asset
I mostly use Boundary elements to show an image. Since this is not available via a drag/drop of an image asset from the browser (as illustrated above), it is available in eaUtils:
- Select the Image Asset element from EA Browser.
- Right click to open eaUtils menu and select [Browser] Add Image Asset on diagram (new boundary).
- Note: this menu is only available for Image Asset elements.
- Result: the diagram is saved and a boundary is created, showing the image asset element.
Select the Image Asset in the Browser from a boundary (Alt + I keyboard shortcut)
When a boundary showing an image asset is selected in a diagram, it can be useful to select the linked Image Asset element. This is similar to the Find | Locate Classifier in Project Browser EA action on an instance to find its class.
eaUtils fulfills this need:
- Select the boundary.
- Right click to open eaUtils menu and [Diagram] Select Image Asset in Browser.
- Alternatively use eaUtils ALT + I keyboard shortcut, if enabled via eaUtils settings.
- Result: the image asset element is selected in the browser.
Image asset support in eaUtils Find in All Diagrams
I extended eaUtils enhanced Find in All Diagrams to support Image Assets with the following:
- Find the parent Image Asset usage for a boundary element.
- Find the Boundary elements usage for an Image Asset element.
Details are available from eaUtils Find in All Diagrams help page.