Action Diagram Modifications & Settings

We'll cover more options on the Action Diagram Canvas and the Action Diagram's constructs' behaviors, options and the relationships created.

Action Constructs Connections Action Constructs Editing Options
I/O Construct Connections I/O Construct Editing Options
Resource Construct Connections  Resource Construct Editing Options
Branch Asset Construct Connections Branch Asset Editing Options
Multiple Actions Selected Edits Multiple Actions Editing and Options
Line Construct Editing Line Construct Editing Options
Start/End Construct Editing Start & End Nodes Editing Options
Action Diagram's Wrench & Settings  Action Diagram's Wrench Icon & Settings

 

The previous article on the Action Diagram provides users with an introductory explanation of the constructs and their functionality on the canvas. In the following section, we will delve into more detail about the options available for the canvas constructs and the toolbar frame options that change dependent on the selected constructs.

Serial, Parallel, Or, Loop, Sync Constructs on the Canvas

Any of the 6 Action constructs in an Action Diagram canvas can connect to another Action construct, an I/O construct and a Resource construct. When a construct is selected, there will be a blue frame indicator indicating the entity is selected and green dots on each side of the construct to indicate users can connect the construct from one construct to another. By creating the constructs and connecting them, this will create relationships in the database automatically.

To create a connection, the user will need to click on a green dot so a line will appear and drag the line to another construct to connect to it, as shown below.

Below we will go over what constrcuts in an Action Diagram can be connected to other constructs available for this diagram.

Action Constructs Connect to another Action

In the Action Diagram, any Action constructs in the Action Diagram may be connected to another Action construct. This action will create an Input/Output entity. 

trigger i.o action canvas

Upon dragging the line to another Action construct, the construct will have a Trigger or Optional choice as shown above. This is to determine the Relationship Attribute for the I/O entity to the Action. When dragging the line from the Action, users must drop the line on either Trigger or Optional (the selected choice will highlight for confirmation). Since this is setting a Relationship Attribute, this can be confirmed with the left sidebar, as shown below.  

relationship attribute trigger i.o

The trigger option will set the I/O to be green and the relationship attribute on the left sidebar says 'Yes' for the Relationship Attribute. If 'Optional' was chosen, it would be gray (like Payload in the canvas in the image above) and the Relationship Attribute 'Trigger' would say 'No'. To change the I/O relationship attribute from Trigger to Optional (or vice versa) users can use this dropdown on the left sidebar under the Relationships Tab, as highlighted in the red square, or simply redrag and redrop a line to the correct option on the canvas.

Since connecting an Action Entity to another Action Entity creates an I/O, the relationship created here is the Action generates the I/O. The I/O then must be recieved somewhere, so the I/O in the image above is being received by the OR Action 'Perform normal or contingency ops.' This can be confirmed with the left sidebar, as shown below.

io generate recieve canvas act diag

Action Constructs Connect to Resource

When users use the green dot from an Action Entity and use the line to connect to a Resource like shown above, a black dotted line will appear (image below). This creates the relationship that the Action Entity produces the Resource it is pointed to.

resource action diag canvas

On the other end of the Forest Fire Resource construct, it is connected to the Extinguish Forest Fire Action construct. This indicates the Extinguish Forest Fire construct consumes the Forest Fire Resource. Which can be confirmed in the left sidebar under the Relationships Tab (Red square in image below).

resource action diag canvas consumes resource

Action Constructs Connect to I/O

If not using the first option of connecting one Action entity to another in the canvas , users may also drag and drop the I/O construct on to the canvas first then connect the Action Entity to it. This option is particularly helpful when using already existing I/Os.

Action Construct Editing Options

Upon selecting an Action construct, the top of the toolbar frame changes so users may modify it.

settings action diagram

The buttons on the top toolbar frame are focused in the image below. Most of these options are available for  all of the action constructs, when selected. We will cover all these options then reference specific options for specific action constrcuts below that.

Open

The Open button allows users to open the entity up into another view.

Bold

 

This option will Bold the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Italicize

This option will Italicize the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Change Text Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the text color of the multiple entities selected on the canvas by selecting the color associated close to the desired color simply inputting in the fields the proper codes and numbers.

Change Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the color of the construct of the entity selected on the canvas.

Change Stroke/line color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Change Line/Stroke Color Option, users can change the color that borders the construct of the entity selected on the canvas.

Reset Color back to default

The Reset color back to default option will change the entity selected on the canvas back to the default gray and black colors.

Flatten

When an Action Entity is decomposed by children entities, a Flatten button will appear so users may 'flatten' the hierarchy and have the children actions appear on the diagram in the parent's place. This will remove the decomposed by relationship between the Parent and Children entities.

Script

For more on the Script button, please see this article.

Input/Output Selected

An I/O construct can connect to 2 constructs in the Action Diagram canvas, an Action construct and another I/O by dragging the line generated from one of the green dots on the blue frame and dropping it to either of the aforementioned constructs.

Input/Output to Action Construct

As mentioned earlier in this article, this particular scenario is helpful when using an already existing I/O and dragging and dropping the existing I/O from the Existing Tab on the left sidebar.

By dragging the I/O line to an Action construct, the entity will have a Trigger or Optional choice. This is to determine the Relationship Attribute for the I/O to the Action. When dragging the line from the I/O Entity, users must drop the line on the Action entity and select if the I/O will Trigger the Action or use the Optional option (the selected choice will highlight for confirmation).

Input/Output to Input/Output Construct

When connecting one I/O to another I/O construct in the Action Diagram canvas, it creates decomposition. The I/O the user is starting with is the parent and the I/O it connects to will be the child. This can be confirmed with the leftside bar as shown below.

i.o to i.o action diag canvas 

I/O Toolbar Frame Options

io toolbar settings

Upon selecting an I/O, the toolbar frame options are explained below.

Open

The Open button allows users to open the entity up into another view.

Bold

 

This option will Bold the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Italicize

This option will Italicize the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Change Text Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the text color of the multiple entities selected on the canvas by selecting the color associated close to the desired color simply inputting in the fields the proper codes and numbers.

Change Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the color of the construct of the entity selected on the canvas.

Reset Color back to default

The Reset color back to default option will change the entity selected on the canvas back to the default gray and black colors.

Resource

A Resource construct can connect to any of the Action constructs only. Upon dragging the line from the green dots to an Action Construct, the construct will change to drop the line so that the resource can either be consumed or seized by the Action, as shown below. 

Per the LML Specification 1.4, consumes identifies the Resource that this Action uses.  After this Action is completed, the amount consumed is not returned to the Resource. 

Per the LML Specification 1.4, seizes identifies the Resource that this Action uses.  After this Action has completed the Resource is released for use by other Actions. 

Resource Editing Options

resource editing options

Upon selecting a Resource, the toolbar frame options are explained below.

Open

The Open button allows users to open the entity up into another view.

Bold

 

This option will Bold the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Italicize

This option will Italicize the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Change Text Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the text color of the multiple entities selected on the canvas by selecting the color associated close to the desired color simply inputting in the fields the proper codes and numbers.

Change Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the color of the construct of the entity selected on the canvas.

Reset Color back to default

The Reset color back to default option will change the entity selected on the canvas back to the default gray and black colors.

Branch Asset

Branch Asset constructs are Actors or PErformers that can be added to parallel branches in an Action Diagram. Upon dragging and dropping the construct on to the branch, the branch will turn green to indicate where the Actor will be applied on the canvas, as shown below.

If an Action is already there, or once it is added on the parallel branch, the relationship created will show the Actor is performing the Action on the parallel branch (and any other actions on the same branch). Which can be indicated with the left sidebar, as shown below.

actor performs act diag canvas

The options highlighted below will be cover the options for a Branch Asset in the section below.

Bold

 

This option will Bold the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Italicize

This option will Italicize the name of the entity selected on the canvas.

Change Text Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the text color of the multiple entities selected on the canvas by selecting the color associated close to the desired color simply inputting in the fields the proper codes and numbers.

Change Stroke/line color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Change Line/Stroke Color Option, users can change the line of the color and the branch selected on the canvas. An example of this changed to red is provided below.

Reset Color back to default

The Reset color back to default option will change the entity selected on the canvas back to the default black.

Line Options

For the line to the Actor Branch label, users with the Line Options dropdown have the option to hide the label, change the connecting line to straight or orthogonal, or reset th label to reflect the defaulted settings of applying the label to the branch with no line connector and rever tback to the defaulted black color (not including the branch color if that has changed).

Multiple Actions Selected

mult actions selected act diag canvas

Users may drag their cursor outside of the constructs and a box will appear to select as many multiple entites the user desires. Many features on the top toolbar will appear upon doing so for the user to utilize. Let's go over each option as highlighted below.

Bold

 

This option will Bold all the names of the multiple entities selected on the canvas.

Italicize

This option will Italicize all the names of the multiple entities selected on the canvas.

Change Text Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the text color of the multiple entities selected on the canvas by selecting the color associated close to the desired color simply inputting in the fields the proper codes and numbers.

Change Fill Color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Text Fill Color Option, users can change the color of the constructs of the multiple entities selected on the canvas.

Change Stroke/line color

Using the HTML Color Picker that drops down from the Change Line/Stroke Color Option, users can change the color that borders the constructs of the multiple entities selected on the canvas.

Reset Color back to default

reset color mult ent act diag

The Reset color back to default option will change the multiple entities selected on the canvas back to the default gray and black colors.

Align Vertically

align vertically mult ent select act diag canvas

This selection will align the constructs vertically for the multiple entities selected on the canvas.

Align Horizontally

align horiz mult ent select act diag canvas

This selection will align the constructs horizontally for the multiple entities selected on the canvas.

Clone Shape

clone shape mult ent sel canvas act diag

The Clone Shape option is to bring size uniformity to the diagram's constructs. When this option is selected, the green highlighed entity will be what the other constructs clone to so they are all the same size.

Group Apply Duration Attribute

group apply mult ent act diag canvas

The Group Apply Duration Attribute option is a pop up that allows users to apply the same number to the Duration Attribute for the multiple entities selected:

Decompose

decompose mult ent select act diag canvas

The Decompose Button will turn the multiple entities selected into a child diagram. A new entity will appear in the place of the constructs on the canvas and by default will be called "Parent of XYZ entities." Users may of course at this point change the name of the Parent Entity.

Remove

remove dropdown line act diag canvas
The Remove Button is two buttons as the image indicates with the black square and black circle. When selecting just the remove button, the defaulted option to remove the multiple entities selected from the diagram is selected. The circled down arrow button provides the dropdown shown above and provides both available options, Delete the multiple entities from Database or Remove the multiple entities from the Diagram (Default).

Action Diagram Canvas Line Constructs

The lines in the Action Diagram are not entitites in the database and are merely indicators for the flow of the diagram for the constructs.  The options covered below go over the styling options for these lines for the diagram. Note, there are some lines in the Action Diagram that have only some of these options, this is particularly true for Loop Action lines, OR lines and Sync lines.

Line Options on the Top Toolbar Frame

line construct action to io action canvas

In the above image, the line construct between Continue Operations and the I/O is selected, as indicated in blue by Innoslate and the red circle for this example. As shown in that image above, the line construct is not an entity since the left sidebar did not change, but the top toolbar frame did change to provide the following options for the user to select and modify as desired. The options are highlighted in the red square in the image above and each are explained in more detail below. These options are applicable for lines that connect Action to I/O, I/O to I/O & Action to Resource and Parallel Action lines. 

  • Change Stroke/Line Color
    change line color act diag canvas
    The color of the line can change with this option. Users have the option to use the HTML color picker by typing in the numbers or code to the HEX, R, G and B fields for the color the user desires.
  • Reset Color back to default
    reset color line act diag canvas
    This option will set the line back to the default option. Normally the default color is black, unless it's an optional I/O (gray).
  • Line Options

    If the line is Straight, users have the option to change the line to Orthogonal. If the line is Orthogonal, users have the option to change the line to Straight. 
  • Remove Button
    remove dropdown line act diag canvas
    The Remove Button is in the black square above and the dropdown is available when selecting the down arrow to the right of the Remove button (in black circle). When selecting just the remove button, the defaulted option to remove from diagram is selected. The dropdown provides the option to Delete from Database and Remove from Diagram (Default). Due to the specific construct, both options will remove the relationship from the Action to the I/O. Depending on which line is selected it will lose the generates or receives relationship.

Start/End Selected

start end options act diag canvas

Upon selecting the Start and End nodes on the canvas of the Action Diagram, there are two options as shown above. These options on the top toolbar are to Change the Fill Color with the HTML Color Picker. The right option is to Reset the Color back to the default blue color.a

Wrench Option on the Top of the Toolbar Frame

As shown above, the Wrench option is a fixed button that drops down and is on the top right of the tool bar frame.

As highlighted in red above, this dropdown provides users options to show/hide certain constructs such as Resources, I/Os, Parent I/Os and Cross-Project Indicators on the canvas.

Users may also Generate an Asset Diagram from their Action Diagram, given the proper relationships were made to the Actions and the Branch Actors are present in the Diagram.

Users may also Auto Number their diagrams, where a pop up shows up to allow users to use the action order to determine the number sequence, provide a Prefix or enumerate the single level, as shown below.

Lastly, the final options provide users to reset their diagram, layout the diagram and go directly to the Help Center page for the Action Diagram for convenience.

Hide Sidebar on the Left of the Toolbar Frame

Can't find the left sidebar or need to hide it for presentation purposes? Be sure to note the Hide Sidebar option on the left of the Toolbar Frame. 

 

To continue learning about LML Diagrams, Click Here.

(Next Article: Executing your Action or Activity Diagram)