How are you using “Architecture Areas” in your #PowerDesigner models?

In SAP PowerDesigner 16.6.4, the Architecture Area concept was made available in most model types, having previously only been available in the Enterprise Architecture model. Perhaps it was a response to the introduction of “Business Data Objects” to ER/Studio Data Architect by Idera. I think “Architecture Area” is a better name than “Business Data Object”.

Anyway, I’m curious – how are you using them in your models?

In this made-up example there are three Architecture Areas, including one that is a child of another.

Architecture Areas

What makes #PowerDesigner different? Find out at my #DMZone session in Dusseldorf next week

Next week at Data Modelling Zone in Dusseldorf, I’ll be demonstrating my favourite features of SAP PowerDesigner. These range from simple usability to advanced tinkering, none of them are rocket science. Most of them are not available in other competing tools.

Challenge me with a feature of your favourite data modelling tool that you just can’t live without, and I’ll show you how to handle it in PowerDesigner.

Here’s the list of features I intend to demonstrate:

  • What if you draw that relationship in the wrong direction, or between the wrong entities? You don’t need to delete it, just edit it
  • Tidy up that diagram – have more than one symbol on the diagram for that busy entity
  • When you connect two objects together, the link is visible from both ends (even if they’re from two different models, or different types of models)
  • Multiple editing windows – individual objects and lists of objects, from multiple models
  • Copy and paste from a list of Objects straight into Excel, complete with headers
  • Import anything from Excel without writing any code
  • Link anything to anything if you have a need to, using Traceability Links
  • Add new properties, and new types of object, and links between them
    – how about adding Data Stewards, and linking them to the entities they’re responsible for?
  • Dependency matrices – show (and edit) links between objects
  • Create a model within a model – useful for Subject Area models
  • How about generating that LDM as JSON structures for your fancy governance tool to ingest?
  • Tailor how PowerDesigner generates DDL, and even invent your own DBMS and funky new DDL syntax
  • When you generate one model from another (e.g. generating a PDM from a LDM) you can change what happens using model transformations – such as the model transformation that makes sure your PDM tables all have the correct audit columns
  • Who needs Visio? Use a ‘Free Model’ to invent your own type of model


Work smarter with #PowerDesigner – Choosing your Conversion Table

In yesterday’s blog post, I described how to convert CamelCase object Codes into ‘Proper Case’ object Names, using a combination of GTL and VBScript in a model extension. This took advantage of the built-in conversion routines, which enable us to convert abbreviations into plain language, such as replacing “acct” with “account”.

I didn’t show you how to tell PowerDesigner where to look for those abbreviations, so that’s what I’m going to do now. The secret lies with the Naming Conventions in the Model Options. There are three ways to access the Model Options:

  • near the bottom of the Tools menu
  • right-click the model in the Browser
  • right-click a blank area of a diagram

Click on the “Naming Conventions” section, then on the “Code to name” sub-tab, as shown below.  You need to do two things:

  1. Select “Enable conversions”
  2. Choose from the drop-down list of conversion tables – in the example below, I’ve chosen one of my CSV files

PDM model options - conversion table

The drop-down list of conversion tables will include entries from the following sources:

  • if you have a repository, one entry for ‘glossary terms’ (these are the Terms in the PowerDesigner Glossary)
  • CSV files that have been checked into the ‘Library’ folder in the repository
  • CSV files in the target folder(s). Click on the folder icon to the right of the drop-down to change the target folders – the default folder is “C:\Program Files\SAP\PowerDesigner 16\Resource Files\Conversion Tables”, which contains a single sample, called “stdnames.csv”, so you’ll probably want to add at least one more folder to the list.

You can edit your conversion table directly, without using Excel – just click on the ‘Edit Selected Conversion Table’ button.

edit selected conversion table

Each time you run the menu options I showed you yesterday, it will use the current conversion table. If, for example, you haven’t defined ‘BBC’ as an abbreviation, the code ‘BBCNews’ will be converted to ‘BBC News’. If you decide that ‘BBC’ should be converted to “British Broadcasting Corporation”, just add the following entry to your conversion table, and run the menu options again.

British Broadcasting Corporation BBC

Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that the Conversion table that you select on the Naming Conventions tab is used for every type of object, unless you select a different Conversion table in one of the object-specific sections. In this example, I’ve chosen a different Conversion table for Columns:

naming for columns

So, you could use different conversion tables for different types of object, if you want to.