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Informal Discussions

Using the 'Discuss' tab of the dockable Collaborate window, you can select an individual element or diagram and develop an informal discussion that is directly associated with that object. This makes it easy to locate, view and contribute to a discussion, or more than one discussion, on the selected object.

You can participate in discussions on different elements and diagrams simply by clicking on each object in turn; the Collaborate window immediately switches to the discussion of the new selected object, identified by name underneath the window option bar.

As a discussion develops, the number of responses is shown below the original post; therefore you can see when a discussion has a new reply without having to expand and work through the thread. You can apply a priority and status to a discussion, which helps you to indicate the importance of the discussion and to resolve and close off the points raised in the discussion so that they do not continue indefinitely. You can also delete the whole posting or specific replies, to balance retaining discussion history with removing irrelevant information.

Three further facilities of the Collaborate window are the:

  • 'Review' tab, which you use to attach formal discussions on one or more elements and/or diagrams to a review session, encapsulated in a Review element; see the Formal Review Elements Help topic
  • 'Chat' tab and text box, which you can use to follow and participate in quick conversations on a point of interest, not necessarily connected with the selected element; see the Model Chat Help topic
  • 'Journal' tab, on which you jot down any notes, comments, reminders or references that you want to write down during the day; see the Keeping Journal Entries Help topic

The discussion comments pertinent to an element can be displayed in that element on a diagram, in the Discussion Compartment of the element.

Access

Select an element or diagram, then open the Collaborate window using one of these methods:

Ribbon

Start > Collaborate > Discussions > Discuss

Context Menu

Project Browser > Right-click on object > Collaborate > Discuss

On diagram > Right-click on element > Collaborate > Discuss

Operations in Discussions

Operation

Action

See also

Create a discussion

The window displays the message Create new Discussion. Double-click on this message and type your posting as continuous text (no carriage returns). The text automatically wraps at the border of the Collaborate window. You can also paste copied text from the clipboard into the discussion item, by pressing Ctrl+V.

If you do need to break your text into paragraphs, press Ctrl+Enter at the point at which to break the text.

When you have finished typing, click off the text or press the Enter key.

  • An open expansion arrow and a icon display to the left of your text
  • Your user ID and the time of posting display just underneath your text, followed by the text 0 Replies
  • The messages Post Reply and Create new Discussion display beneath your text

You can also right-click on the window and select the 'Create new Discussion' menu option. All new discussions are added below existing discussion threads.

If user security is enabled and you have selected to show avatars, the discussion icon is replaced by an image representing the user who contributed that item. If a user does not have an avatar image, a default 'head and shoulders' silhouette displays as the avatar.

Set User Avatar

Add a response

Double-click on the 'Post Reply' message and type your response as continuous text.

When you have finished typing, click off the text or press the Enter key.

  • A icon, your user ID and the date and time of posting display above your text
  • The message Post Reply displays beneath your text
  • The Replies count is incremented underneath the original posting

You can also right-click on a post and select the 'Post Reply' menu option. All new replies are added underneath the discussion thread they are in response to.

Edit postings

Whilst you are typing a message, the editor automatically checks the spelling and underlines possible spelling errors in red. You can backspace or move the cursor to the errors to correct them. You can also move the cursor anywhere in the message body and add or delete text (press the Delete key).

Once you have posted a message, you can delete the whole message but you cannot edit it.

Copy discussion text

If you want to re-use some or all of the text of a discussion item, you can copy it to the clipboard by selecting the text and pressing Ctrl+C before you save it. You can then paste the text into a new discussion item or into another document in Enterprise Architect.

Set discussion status

The icon against a new discussion indicates that the discussion has the status of 'Open'. To change the status, right-click on the discussion item and select either:

  • 'Status | Awaiting Review' () or
  • 'Status | Closed' ()

If the discussion already has one of these statuses, you can also select the 'Open' option to return the discussion to 'Open' status.

When you review the discussions in the Collaborate window, you might want to include discussions that have the status of 'Closed', or you might prefer to hide them. To toggle the inclusion of closed discussions, right-click on the body of the window and click on the 'Show Closed Topics' option.

Set discussion priority

As part of the discussion, you might want to identify the priority of a point being raised. It might be very important to act on the point, or it might be agreed that the point discusses a 'nice to have' feature that could be addressed at a later date. To set the priority, right-click on the discussion topic and select one of the options:

  • 'Priority | High' ()
  • 'Priority | Medium' (), or
  • 'Priority | Low' ()

Alternatively, if you decide that an item does not need to be prioritized, select the 'Priority | <none>' option. This leaves the item icon as .

Delete a discussion or reply

Right-click on the discussion or a reply, and select the 'Delete Selected' menu option. A prompt displays to confirm the deletion. Click on the Yes button.

If you delete a discussion, all replies associated with that discussion will be deleted as well.

Review Discussion History

Either:

  • Click on the object name bar at the top of the window , or
  • Right-click within the body of the window, or
  • Select the 'Start > Collaborate > Discussions' ribbon option

In each case, select the 'Discussion History' option.

The Discussions window displays, listing all existing discussion items on elements. You can right-click on the:

  • Column header band and select options to display the 'Field Chooser' and add to or reduce the number of columns, or to display the Filter bar to filter the list for discussions having a specific property such as the user who posted the discussion items, or the person who created the elements (element Author)
  • Body of the window and select to open a preview pane on the right or at the bottom of the window, to instantly see each discussion thread as you click on it in the list; you can also hide the preview pane if you do not need it
  • Body of the window and on the 'Visible Timeframe' option, selecting to show discussions posted Today, or during the 7, 30 or 90 days prior to today
  • Body of the window and select to refresh the list to include any discussions that have been posted since you opened the discussion history
  • Selected element and select to:
         -  Find the discussed element in the Project Browser or diagrams
         -  Display the 'Properties' dialog for the discussed element
         -  Review and edit the discussion in the Collaborate window, opening the window if it is not currently available
Customizing the Search View

Notes

  • The Discussions facility is available in the Corporate, Unified and Ultimate editions of Enterprise Architect
  • If the editor does not highlight spelling errors, select the 'Start > View > Preferences > Objects' ribbon option and deselect the 'Disable Spelling' checkbox
  • A standard report is available for locating elements that have recently been the subject of discussions; select the 'Start > Collaborate > Discussions > Find Recently Discussed Elements' ribbon option

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