Sketch Objects

Objects created in DecisionsFirst Modeler are available to any user through the search function - when an object is created it is persisted in a shared repository. Each such object has a collection of properties and associations that can be defined for it that are persisted with it and available anywhere it is used. This is a powerful feature as it allows you to reuse objects on multiple diagrams and share objects between teams. Sometimes, however, it is useful to be able to sketch out a Decision Requirements Diagram without exposing the objects you are creating to other users. To allow this DecisionsFirst Modeler supports Sketch Objects.

When you are working in a diagram you can create Decisions, Knowledge Sources and Input Data objects from the palette. You can choose to create these as Objects (using the solid colored shapes) or as Sketch Objects (using the open or outlined shapes). Objects are created in the database and then associated with the diagram. Sketch Objects, in contrast, only exist in the context of the diagram on which they are created. To create a Sketch Object, select the Sketch button at the top of the palette to switch to the Sketch Object palette.

Sketch Objects can be given a name and description on the diagram. They cannot be opened for editing and no additional properties can be populated. They will not appear in searches, cannot be reused across multiple diagrams and will not show up on the home page. They can be linked to other objects and sketch objects on the diagram to show their dependencies but these dependencies will only be visible in the diagram - a link from a sketch object to an object will not show up in the object's editing panel for instance.

Sketch Objects allow you to work with a diagram, experimenting with different approaches or describing an approach you are not certain of. Because they are local to the diagram any changes, especially the kind of radical changes you might need to make early on in a modeling project, will not impact other users or other diagrams.

Once you are reasonably certain of your work you can convert any sketch object to an object using the Create Object from Sketch Object button on the toolbar or by the description field. An object with the same name and description and the same dependency connections is created and replaces the sketch object. The resulting object behaves exactly as an object created directly.