Visio for C2/xADL


Visio for C2/xADL is a graphical front end of ArchStudio 3. It can be used to create xADL 2.0 document graphically, with special support for C2 architecture style


System Requirements


You should download/install ArchStudio 3 and the required software listed above first.

This package requires Windows Installer 2.0 to install.

Please download and install this installation package.

Notes for Visio 2003

This program seems working with Visio 2003. Due to the change of the way that Visio detects third-party templates, please add the string "Software" to both the "Templates" box and the "Stencils" box at the "Tools/Options/Advanced/File Paths" dialog of Visio 2003. The "C2" and "xADL" template will appear in the "File/New" menu and in the "(Other)" category of the "Choose Drawing Type" pane.

You also need to enable macros to use this program.

Previous version

The previous version can be found at here. The functionality is the same, but the new version uses a custom COM/Java connector that makes installation simpler and easier. The source code of the connector is included in the installation package.

User Manual

You need to understand the concepts in both Visio and xADL 2.0 to use this tool.

Start the environment

Start ArchStudio 3.

After you start Visio, you can find a xADL solution in Software solutions (Software/xADL in the New menu). You can start creating a new xADL document by choose the appropriate solutions, as you would do in general Visio.

Note: ArchStudio 3 and Visio will use TCP port 3333 and 4444 to communicate. Make sure no other programs are using these ports.

Use ArchStudio's FileManager

Use the menu in FileManager to create, open, save xADL documents. Visio solution will not do file input/output directly.

Create a new document

  1. Choose New/xADL, you will see a blank document.
  2. There is an Architecture Menu. Choose "read xADL file"
  3. Choose one item from the list. The content of that file will be displayed graphically in Visio.

Open an existing document

Just open the document. The system will load the Visio file and parse the associated xADL document. If there is any incompatibility, it will give an warning.

Create Type

You must have a set of component and connector types to design a software architecture. The types will be displayed as Masters in Stencil, which you can drag and drop to create an instance for the type.

First, you need to create interface type. Choose "Create New Type" from Architecture Menu. Choose "Interface Type". Type an id and a description for the interface type, click OK.

Second, you can create component types and connector types. Choose "Create New Type" from Architecture Menu. Choose "Component Type" or "Connector Type". Type an id, a description, and a signature. ( The signature should be in this format "DirectionOfInterfaceType,IDofInterfaceType;...;DirectionOfInterfaceType,IDofInterfaceType; " )

After you create types, you can either reload the xADL document (through "read xADL file") if you still have a blank Visio file, or you can close the old Visio file(The content in ArchStudio is not lost) and then create a new one, choose "read xADL file" again. In both cases the types will be used to create new stencils.

Component/Connector operations

To create a component or connector, drag the icon from the stencil into the drawing, then type a unique name for it. Hit Esc when you finish typing new name.

To connect a connector to a component or another connector, drag the handle of the connector to the center of the component or the other connector, release it when the big red spot appears.

To change the name of a component/connector, select it and type the new name. Hit Esc when you are done.

To delete a component/connector, select it and hit Delete. (Deleting component/connector will also delete connected links.)

To delete a link, select it and hit Delete.

To view the property of a component/connector, right click on it and select "Property" from the pop-up menu.

Group Operations

To create a group, select the members of group (components, connectors, and subordinate groups), then choose group from Architecture Menu in the Menu bar. Type the name of the group.

To ungroup a group, click the group, then click it again ( The boundary would change to a different line pattern. ) Right click, choose Ungroup.

Using Architecture Browser

To toggle the display of architecture browser, select "Architecture Browser".

You can see all the components/connectors/links in the right tree. The group has its members as the children. All items are sorted alphabetically. Hit on any node will lead you to corresponding shape in Visio file.

Sub Architecture Support

Choose "Create New Structure" from Architecture menu. Input an id and a description for the new ArchStructure. A new page will be created. You can add new components/connectors/links to this ArchStructure.

When create a new component/connector type, you can check "Use current structure" box in the "Create New Type" dialog box to specify using current structure as sub architecture for the newly created component/connector type.

When right click on a component/connector, if its type contains sub architecture, you can choose "GotoSubarchitecture" do bring in a new page for the sub Architecture.

Event Visualization

To see the visualization, choose set sender color and set receiver color from Architecture Menu, set the colors to what you want. Run the events source application. You will see messages sending between components and connectors.

Other Operations

Toggle "Check Unique Name" will enable or disable uniqueness checking for names. Disable it when you want to do multiple pasts form previous copies.

"Bind xADL file" connects current Visio file to the selected xADL document, but does not do any loading or checking.