I have two wishes today, and I will divide and hopefully conquer by splitting them into two messages. I'll take the easy one first.
It would be nice to be able to see that a specific object is duplicated and thus occurs in another place on the same diagram. This would help the viewer understand that additional facts about the duplicated object might be found elsewhere on the same diagram. It would also help the designer avoid adding different facts to the same object at different places on the same diagram.
Have you looked at creating multi-page ORM documents? Here, Object Types are routinely duplicated on any number of pages in a single ORM model. This feature has been available on the past several releases of NORMA. I find it an excellent way to divide up a model into several logically separate sub-sections.
Just below the horizontal scroll bar, you'll see a small rectangle with the name of the context page. Rt click on that, and you'll see options to rename or create a new page. When you create a new page, and create a fact with an Object you created previously, it shows on the new page (and the original one), with a shadow indicating that the object resides on several pages.
You wouldn't want an object "defined" in more than one place in an ORM model, but it's helpful to have the graphical representation repeated on each page where that object becomes part of new FactTypes. Internally, there is one object, but one object with scores of connections would be a mess, visually. If you organize your pages along the lines of tables in an RDBMS, you can think of the duplicate images as akin to foreign keys.
A related concept is that of sub-models. Here, you can (could if implemented), create a model that is fully correct and validated, and then use that as a component in any number of other ORM models. A typical example would be a mailing address. If you get that right once, it would be nice to be able to use it in every ORM model that requires a mailing address. You'll need to check with Matt on when this is likely to be added to NORMA; it has been part of other ORM tools, like Visio EA.
If this is not what you meant, someone else may have a better idea. Hope it helps. BRN..
Thank you Brian,
I'm fully aware of the multi-page feature, and I use it intensively. What I mean is where multiple objects on one single page are related to the same object. Allowing the same object to occur in more than one place on a specific diagram helps me avoid cluttering the diagram.
Still, your message helped, and I thank you for that. Silly of me, but I hadn't noticed that the duplicated objects were in fact shadowed, and very nicely shadowed at that.
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