In Enterprise Studio you are using different diagrams and/or views. If you are working with both or just one of them, depends on the modeling languages and methods you are modeling in. In ArchiMate® models for example, you only work with views, in BPMN models only with diagrams. In Amber models you can work with both.

Diagrams and views are used for creating your models. Each diagram and each view is a particular point of view on the set of objects and relations established between them.

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Difference between diagrams and views

At first glance there is no difference between diagrams and views. Both are used for modeling. However, there is an essential difference between the two.

Whether views or diagrams are used within a modeling language or method, depends on the language or method. If a language or method distinguishes between the semantics (terms and concepts) of the model and the visualization of the model, views are used. This makes it possible to make various visualizations of the same concept. With diagrams this is not possible. How this difference is reflected in Enterprise Studio is explained below.


The objects and relations in a view are graphical representations of the corresponding objects and relations of a model in the model browser. In the model browser are the factual (semantic) objects and relations. The graphical representations are references (links) to the objects and relation in the model browser. These representations are also referred to as reference objects.

Because the views contain references, you can use a single object or relation from the model browser multiple times in one or more views without having to add new elements. This offers the possibility to show a particular concept multiple times and in various ways in your models.

Change element

The name, properties and documentation of reference objects and the referenced source objects are related. If you change the name, a property or documentation of a source element, the change is automatically processed in all reference objects of this element. Also, if you make a change to one of the reference objects, it will be implemented in the source object and the other reference objects.

Remove element

If you want to completely remove an element from the model, you need to remove the element from the model browser. If you only remove the element from a view, you remove only that single reference. The physical element in the model browser and any other references to this element in views persist.


The objects and relations in a diagram have a one-to-one link with the objects and relations in the model browser. If you want to reuse a specific element from a diagram in the same or another diagram, you need to create the element again.

Change element

If you change the name, a property or documentation of an element in the model browser, this information changes automatically in the element in the diagram. Conversely, the same applies.

Remove element

If you want to remove an element from a model you can do this by removing the element from the diagram or from the model browser. In both cases the element is completely removed from the model.

Special cases


The object types items, data types, and UML classes used in Amber models behave in a regular way with regard to removing them. It works the same as the general rule for removing objects in views. However, with regard to specifying the properties and documentation of these objects and their reference objects, things work differently. For more information, see Reference objects of items, data types and UML classes.


BPMN has specific objects that are used in diagrams, but behave like objects in views. When placed on the diagram, reference objects are placed and multiple references can be made from the same object. To remove these objects the same rules apply as for objects in views. Examples of these objects are data stores. For more information, please refer to Element behavior in BPMN diagrams.


The decision requirements diagrams (DRD's) used in DMN modeling behave like views. The DMN modeling language distinguishes between the semantics (terms and concepts) of the model and the visualization of the model. This makes it possible to make various visualizations of the same concept. The glossary and decision table diagrams behave like diagrams.


Attributes used in entities in the ERD Crows Foot logical view behave like elements in a diagram instead of a view. When removed from an entity in the view, they are removed from the model, not only from the view (as is common when removing elements from a view).

As for adding attributes, they can only be drawn directly in the view, they cannot be added in the model browser. Existing attributes though can be dragged from the model browser onto a view.


The diagrams used in UML modeling (not Amber UML) behave like views. The UML modeling language distinguishes between the semantics (terms and concepts) of the model and the visualization of the model. This makes it possible to make various visualizations of the same concept.

Diagram and view types

A model offers different types of diagrams and/or views. Each diagram or view type defines the following:

  • What object types (concepts) are available in the diagram or view.
  • What relation types are available between these concepts.
  • The form of the presentation the object types and relations.

The Allowed Concepts per View command on the ArchiMate ribbon tab shows which concepts are allowed on which view types. This is only available for ArchiMate models.

Which diagrams and/or views are available in a model, depends on the modeling language or method (metamodel) of the model. To see which diagrams and/or views are available in a model, right-click the model in the model browser and point to New. The following sub-menu shows the diagrams and/or views available in the model.

Because the presentation may be different per view, an object might look different between views. Each view is an instance of a view type.

Creating diagrams and views

A model usually consists of one or more diagrams and/or views. To add a new diagram or view, right-click the model in the model browser, point to New and click the diagram or view of your choice, or point to New multiple if you want to add multiple diagrams or views at once.

Diagrams and views can also be created in a folder within a model. In that case right-click the folder and add the diagram or view.

Opening diagrams and views

Selecting a diagram or view name in the model browser opens the corresponding diagram or view in the drawing area of the tool.

If you prefer double-clicking for opening a diagram or view, select the Double-click in model browser to open diagram check box at the General options.

Multiple diagrams and views can be open at the same time. By clicking their tabs in the drawing area, or by just clicking their names in the model browser, you can switch between the different diagrams and views.

Closing diagrams and views

Opened diagrams and views can be closed in two ways. The first way is to click the cross in the tab with the name of the open window.

The other way is through the tab's context menu. When you right-click the tab the context menu appears containing an option to close the window. I you have opened multiple diagrams and/or views, there are several options. You can close the active window (Close), close all windows in one time (Close all), or close all windows except the active window (Close all but this).

Removing diagrams and views

In the model browser you can remove diagrams and views from a model by selecting a diagram or view and then pressing the Delete button or right-clicking a diagram or view and clicking Delete.

If you remove a view, only that view is removed; the objects the view refers to persist.

If you remove a layer from the model browser, the objects in that layer are also removed. Furthermore, all references to these objects in all views are removed.

Selecting elements in a diagram or view

You may select one element in the view by clicking the left mouse button when the mouse pointer is over the element. If you want to add another element to the selection, hold down the Ctrl key while selecting this other element.

Selection of one or more elements is also possible by rubber banding, i.e. pressing the mouse button while pointing somewhere to the upper right of the elements to select, then dragging the mouse pointer to a location to the lower left of these elements, which results in a box being drawn that surrounds all elements. After release of the left mouse button all elements surrounded are selected. The selected elements will be surrounded by nine little squares (the selection handles).

Selecting similar elements

Several selection commands enable you to select specific sets of elements in a view. The Select similar command will select all elements in the view that are of the same concept as the elements in the selection. For example, to select all business roles in a view, you could select one of these roles and activate the command. The initial selection is allowed to contain elements of different concepts. To activate the command, do as follows:

  • Select the elements, right-click the selection, and then click Select > Select Similar, or press Ctrl+E.

Completing the selection

The Complete selection command may be used to quickly extend the selection so it will form a more complete set of elements. More specific, this command adds all relations between the selected elements to the selection and also adds the child elements of any element selected. This command is very useful if you want to highlight a certain part of a view using the highlight view filter. To activate the command, do as follows:

  • Select the elements, right-click the selection, and then click Select > Complete Selection, or press Ctrl+0. Use the 0 from the alphanumeric keys.

Expanding the selection with one level

The Extend selection one level command adds to the selection those elements that have a direct (graphical) relation to the selected element(s). All relations between the selected objects are also added to the selection. By activating this function several times in a row, a growing part of the view will be selected. To activate the command, do as follows:

  • Select the elements, right-click the selection, and then click Select > Extend selection one level, or press Ctrl+1.

Moving elements in a diagram or view

Objects can be moved to any position. Arrows and icons connected to the objects move with it: the meaning of the model does not change. You can drag elements into or out a block or an actor. Model elements and selections of model elements can be moved using the mouse or the arrow keys. When pressing the Ctrl key while using the arrow keys objects are moved with large increments, when pressing the Shift key while using the arrow keys objects are moved with small increments.

You can move several elements together by selecting several. Selecting more than one element at a time can be done in one of the following ways:

  • Dragging: select the elements within a square area with the mouse. Start the drag at an empty point.
  • Add elements to the selection by clicking an element while holding the Shift key.
  • Holding the Ctrl key toggles the selection on or off.
  • With Ctrl+E (or via the context menu) you can select similar objects.

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