Frank Weyand's picture

In this article, I want to introduce you to a new modeling functionality which allows you to model "context sensitive". You do not need to switch from the modeling pane to the symbol pane anymore: directly on a placed object, ARIS tells you which symbols can be used to connect to the given object, and allows you the creation of multiple objects automatically connected, also using an appropriate preview.

So that was modeling in the past:

  1. You searched a symbol in the symbol bar, placed it
  2. If you used the "place and connect", you needed to "leave" the placed symbols and searched for the symbols in the symbol bar, which could be connected.
  3. You've chosen a symbol and placed it, whereas you needed to "search" of the given object in the modeling pane again. You did not have a preview, neither object nor connection.

So ARIS gave you a support by showing you which symbols could be used and connected, but it was not that intuitive, since you needed to switch from the placed symbol to the symbol bar and back.

This all is past.

Now you are able to model "context sensitive". Directly to a selection, ARIS tells you how to continue with the modeling, by showing you in a "mini symbol bar", we call it "Hotspots".

This hotspot bar contains a selection of symbols which can be connected to the selected one, and that directly to the object, so you do not need to move around with the mouse: you see the symbol, and you know what you can do with it.

So here is an example: just create a business process and place an event. Change the name and press "Enter" or only "Escape" to accept the given name.
Then, the hotspot bar is shown transparently.

If you move closer with the mouse to an arbitrary symbol in the hotspot bar, it becomes more and more opaque.

Now, just click on one symbol in the hotspot bar, and you can place a new symbol and automatically connect it to the selected object by just one click.
If you keep the "Ctrl" key on the keyboard (german: "Strg") pressed during the placement of new symbols, you can create multiple objects.

If you want to model e.g. a process: as soon as you placed the start event, in most cases, you do not need the old known symbol bar on the right anymore, you just can continue with the hotspot bar. No moving from placed object to symbol bar anymore, you just can concentrate on the placed objects.

So, let's make a test: I just modeled this little process here in just a few seconds:

I was just curious, how much time I would need if I used Visio... well, since I needed to switch from the modeling page back to the shapes bar again and back, I needed more then the double time.

Oh, and in addition: see the difference.


Three additional hints:

If you miss certain symbols in the mini symbol bar, you can click the last button: a dialog appears giving you the possibilities to add the symbols you want to have also shown in the hotspot bar.

The first button in the hotspot bar can be used to start the connection mode for this object. The selected object is then automatically used as start object for the connection.

And if you want the hotspot bar to vanish: just one mouse move far enough away from the selected object, and the hotspot bar ist not shown anymore. It will appear again if you change the selection.

In my next articel, I will give you a preview for a new functionality in the Express release, which allows you to capture data that fast you never expect it. Stay tuned.

Below you will find a short video showing you this new feature: