eaUtils - Sparx Enterprise Architect add-in

Utilities for your EA models: sort elements, generate alias, diagram breadcrumb navigation

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Diagram Breadcrumb Trail: help section

Diagram Breadcrumb Trail: help section

eaUtils Breadcrumb Trail navigation feature generates hyperlinks on a diagram to navigate back to linking diagrams. A linking diagram has at least one element that opens the current diagram i.e. a composite element (business process, activity, use case, class, SysML block...), hyperlink, package, or navigation cell.

This feature runs on a diagram selected from the Project Browser or from the active diagram.

Note: prior to version 1.15, this feature only worked on the selected diagram from the Project Browser which could be different from the displayed diagram. This has now be resolved to make it easier to use.

Important - this feature can create hyperlinks objects on the diagram.

Generate hyperlinks with eaUtils diagram breadcrumb trail

When browsing through diagrams in Sparx EA or a web browser (HTML model export), hyperlinks to go back can be useful. By default, this requires a manual update in each diagram, involving looking up the model to create the suitable hyperlinks.

eaUtils breadcrumb Trail navigation gathers all the calling diagram(s) to the active diagram and generates links back accordingly.

The following example illustrates the different types of links that one can use in Sparx Enterprise Architect to open a diagram i.e. from a Composite Element, a Package, a Hyperlink, or a Navigation Cell (introduced in EA13 as an improved alternative to hyperlinks).

eautils breadcrumb

Composite elements support

Using the breadcrumb trail feature on composite elements is illustrated via the following BPMN2 model:

  • Diagrams 1, 2, and 3 contain ActivityA subprocess. In EA, a double click onto any ActivityA opens the same diagram (see diagram Activity A with a red border).
    • We will use Activity A diagram to illustrate the breadcrumb trail feature.
  • Diagram 2 contains the ActivityB subprocess, linking to Diagram 3.

Important: running eaUtils features are based on the selected diagram in the Project Browser, not the displayed/active diagram.

eautils sparx ea addin breadcrumb selected diagram project browser

Prior to run eaUtils Breadcrumb, please make sure that the active diagram is selected from the Project Browser. To select the active diagram in EA Project Browser, right click in the diagram > Find in Project Browser, or use the keyboard shortcut Maj+Alt+G.

eautils sparx ea addin breadcrumb selected diagram project browser

Right click in the active diagram (or from a diagram in the project browser) and select Extensions > eaUtils > [Diagram] Generate breadcrumb trail as shown below: (note: if the list is different, you are not working on a diagram).

Confirm from the following dialog box if you would like to go ahead.

sparx enterprise architect diagram breadcrumb trail fil ariane

Note: all types of links are currently selected according to the current settings. If needed, the selection can be restricted to "Composite Elements". To save this selection in eaUtils settings, the option "Update settings" must be enabled.

Having run eaUtils Breadcrumb trail from the Activity A diagram, the following confirmation window is displayed:

Activity A BPMN diagram has been updated with new hyperlinks as shown below. Hyperlinks can be moved to a suitable location.

Running the Breadcrumb Trail again leads to the following dialog box:

Package Links support

eaUtils breadcrumb trail feature can be run from the package's main diagram to generate a link back to the calling diagrams. In the example below, the Package option must be enabled.

eautils sparx ea addin breadcrumb package links back


eautils addin enterprise architect sparx generate a link back automatically

Hyperlinks support

eaUtils breadcrumb trail "hyperlinks" option must be enabled to generate a link back from Activity2's diagram to the "main" and "activities" diagrams.

eautils hyperlinks back fil d'ariane sparx enterprise architect

Navigation Cells support

The last available option illustrates the "Activities" diagram that is opened via a Navigation Cell link from the diagram "main".

eautils links navigation cells sparx ea


This feature has been shared via a video available from UMLChannel blog Youtube channel.