Do you want to use a graphic in your process that updates automatically if any attribute value is changed?

Some companies use a graphic symbol in the process banner/header to visually represent the level of the process in the hierarchy. If the process level is changed, the symbol can automatically be updated to represent the correct level. In this article, I shall show you how to do that.


Step 1: The first thing is to create the different ‘states’ of the symbol that you want to use. For example, the traffic lights have three states i.e. red, yellow, green. You have to create the ‘images’ for these states first. Create the images you want to use using the ARIS Symbol editor (Start > Programs > ARIS Platform > Administration). You need to use the ARIS symbol editor becayse the symbols need to be in .amf format before they can be used in ARIS. You can create your own symbol using this tool or if you already created a symbol using some other tool (e.g.paint, etc) you need to import them to the ARIS symbol editor using the ‘import graphic’ option under ‘file’ menu. After importing the graphic, you can resize it if necessary and save it as .amf file.

For this example, I have created two symbols as shown below to represent Level 1 and Level 2 processes.

Symbol for Level 1 processes:

Symbol for Level 2 processes:

Step 2: From the Administration module in ARIS architect, go to configuration > method > attribute symbols

Step 3 : Create new symbols for the two images that were created in the ARIS symbol editor. In this example, I created two symbols titled ‘hierarchy_test_L1’ and ‘hierarchy_test_L2’. When you get the option to ‘select graphic’, indicate the path for the .amf files.


Step 4: From the administration module in ARIS architect, go to configuration > method > attribute types

Step 5 : Create a new attribute type that will be used to indicate the process hierarchy. Change the data type to ‘user attribute values’. For this example I created an attribute called ‘Test_hierarchy’.

In the values field, enter the values that you want to use and the symbols for the values. In the example, if the value of the ‘test_hierarchy’ attribute is ‘1’, the symbol displayed will be ‘hierarchy_test_L1’ to indicate it is a level 1 process.

Step 6 : Include the new attribute type ‘test_hierarchy’ to the filter you are using.

Step 7 : In the process model where you want to show the level indicator, insert the model attribute ‘test_hierarchy’. Make sure the ‘As symbol’ option is ticked.


Step 8: In the process model properties window, click on ‘more attributes’ and select the ‘test_hierarchy’ attribute, so that it is displayed in the properties window.

Step 9: From the properties window change the value of the attribute to indicate the process hierarchy level i.e. level 1/2. The relevant graphic level indicator will be shown in the process model.



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