Essentials of Dragon1

Your first lesson is presented in the form of a playground. Dragon1 automatically instantiates a template visualization for you in the Visual Designer. Login, go to the Visual Designer, click on Open a Cabinet and click on Playground.

Dragon1 lets you play and interact with the Visual Designer directly and you will see the result immediately. Playgrounds (automatically generated visualizations) are great for learning, experimenting and increasing your productivity. This one helps you to get up to speed on fundamental Dragon1 concepts.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

  • Start to work from the Digital Workplace
  • Select Items in the Explorer Treeview of the Visual Designer
  • Drag a shape onto the canvas
  • Insert an entity in the repository
  • Selecting a shape, showing smart tools
  • Change the title of a shape
  • Change the size of a shape
  • Change the color of a shape
  • Duplicate a shape
  • Zoom in & zoom out
  • Maximize the Drawing / Visualization Canvas
  • Rotate a shape
  • Create a connection between two shapes
  • Change the connection attributes
  • Write a title for your diagram
  • Save a Visualization
  • Print a Visualization
  • Lock a Visualization
  • Change the Z order of shapes (to Front and to Back)
  • Place a shape in an another frame

If it is right you are now in the Playground. If you are logged in you will be forwarded directly to the Visual Designer, it will open an example cabinet.

Start to work from your Digital Workplace

The starting place on Dragon1 to work from is the Digital Workplace. You can go to the workplace by clicking on the monitor icon. You will find that button in the topmenu bar at the right top of your browser screen.

Select Items in the Explorer

If you are visiting the Playground (started up the Visual Designer and open the Dragon1 Examples cabinet), you see in the expanded Dossier Playground a few folders.

There are a couple of things you can do now: select a folder, expand a folder or collapse a folder.

  • Selecting a folder means: clicking on the folder name so it gets selected and Dragon1 shows the contents of the folder.
  • Expanding a folder means: clicking on the plus sign in front of the folder name. Only if it has child items it will have a plus sign. If you expand the folder you will see what is in it. If you click on a visualization you will the see the visualization (in Edit Mode, this is explained later on).
  • Collapsing a folder means: clicking on the minus sign to close a folder.

Now select the visualization 'Basic Diagram Example', so we can explore some of the features of the Visual Designer.

Drag a Shape onto the canvas

If you have selected the visualization 'Basic Diagram Example', you see a couple of shapes on the canvas. You can change this visualization and print it (or save it as pdf).

Note: You cannot save the visualization, because you are not the creator. If you try however to save this visualization, you will see an alert box stating the visualization cannot be saved by you. The reason that you can access visualizations that were not created by you, is because these visualizations have been given publication status 'Published World Wide' by their creators.

At the left bottom of your browser screen you see some shapes in a panel. You can 'drag' shapes from the panel to the canvas. Do this by clicking (mouse down) on a shape and dragging it to the canvas and then let go of the mouse button (mouse up). You will see the shape is added on the visualization. Also the visualization is saved automatically right away. Wait for the alert box to appear stating that the visualization is saved. Or in this case on the Playground, it states that the visualization cannot be saved.

Insert an Entity of a Shape

Next to dragging you can also insert shapes via the buttonbar at the top of the screen. In the screenshot below you see how we have selected the shape 'Application' in the 'Draw Entity' dropdown menubar. By clicking on the button, the shape is inserted on the Drawing Canvas of the visualization.

Selecting a Shape, Showing Smart Tools

In the example you see we have dragged a rounded rectangle 'Rect' onto the canvas. Now select 'Rect' by clicking on it. You will see smart tools appear around the selected shape.

These smart tools have the following functions:

  • Resize
  • Cut
  • Copy
  • Draw connection
  • Copy with connection
  • Cut all connections ('pair of scissors' icon)
  • Rotate

In the screenshot below you see how the pair of scissors icon appears when a shape is selected AND the shape has one or more connections to other shapes.

In the Inspector at the right handside you'll see a panel called 'Shape Attributes'. If you click on the word 'Shape Attributes', it will expand or collapse.

If you select the shape and click on locked, the shape freezes. You can not (accidently) change its position.

Change the Title of a Shape

Every shape has an internal name and an external title. The name of a shape is shown in the Explorer Treeview and can be used to refer to a shape. The title of a shape is by default shown at the bottom of a shape, but can also be positioned elsewhere.

To change the title of a shape:

  • 1. Select a shape on the canvas
  • 2. Expand the Text panel in the Inspector by clicking on the word Text Attributes
  • 3. Move this panel to the top, if its not already, by clicking on the list icon.
  • 4. Type a text in the Title field and press TAB

Now you see the title of the shape on the canvas has changed. Be sure to save the visualization by clicking on 'Save Visualization' in the menubar. If you are the creator of this visualization an alert will be shown stating this its done.

Change the Size of a Shape

Every shape can be changed in size, angle and form. To change the size of a shape:

  • Select a shape on the canvas. Now you can change the size in three ways
  • Use the crosshair smart tool to resize the shape
  • Use the square selection markers to resize the shape
  • Expand the Inspector Shape Attributes and type in a new value for the Width and Height of the shape.

In the Shape Attributes of the Inspector panel you see the option of preserveAspectRatio. If you select the shape and check this option, on resize the shape will maintain its current aspect ratio.

Change the color of a Shape

Go now to the 'Collor Attributes' in the Inspector pannel. You can change the following colors here:

  • The fill color of the surrounding shape
  • The stroke color of the surrounding shape (means border color)
  • The stroke width of the surrounding shape (means border width)
  • The fill color of the text
  • The stroke color of the text (means border color)
  • The stroke width of the text (means border width)
  • The opacity of the background (mean transparency)

If the color of the shape does not change automatically after using the Color Picker, goto the color selection field in the Inspector and press TAB, while having the shape selected. Now the color should be changed.

Duplicate a Shape

To duplicate a shape use the [+] from the smarttools around a shape when it is selected.

Zoom in & zoom out

To zoom in or zoom out, use your mouse wheel. On saving the visualization, model and view remember the zoom factor.

Maximize the Drawing / Visualization Canvas

To maximize the drawing canvas

  • Click on the 'Drawing Context' link at the left top of the canvas
  • Click again on the 'Drawing Context' link to return to the default screen setup.

Here is a link to an example Maximized Canvas in the Visual Designer.

Rotate a Shape

You can rotate a shape by making use of the rotation smart tool (the first tool on the bar) or by using the red dot at the left top of a shape, once it is selected.

Create a connection between two Shapes

To create a connection (relationship):

  • Select a shape
  • Use the connection smarttool that appears around the shape
  • Drag the connection to an other shape
  • Grap the point of your connection with the cursor hand open
  • Drag the connection just over the border of the other shape
  • Save the Visualization or Model

Change the Connection Attributes

To change the connection properties:

  • Go with your mouse over a connection
  • Click on the black wheel icon
  • Expand the Connection Attributes panel
  • Change the connection properties
  • Save the visualization or model

Write a Title for your Diagram

To provide a title for your diagram:

  • Select a Visualization
  • Drag the Abc shape from your shapes panel onto the canvas
  • Select the Abc shape
  • Change the text in the title field of the Text Attributes panel in the Inspector
  • Click Save Visualization

Save a Visualization

To save a visualization:

  • Select a visualization
  • Change something on the visualization
  • Click on Save Visualization in the Button Bar
  • Wait for the alert box to appear stating that your visualization is saved.

Note: if you are not the creator of the visualization and the publication status of the visualization is unpublished, you cannot save changes. Let the creator switch the visualization to published private if you need to work together on it.

Print a Visualization

To print a visualization:

  • Select a visualization in the Explorer Treeview
  • Choose to disable the grid if you want to print quickly the visualization
  • Click on the print link in the menu bar of the canvas
  • Right click the mouse in the opened window
  • Follow the instructions of your browser

Lock a Visualization

To lock a visualization, select the Locked is YES value on the information TAB in het New Edit Dialog.

Change the Z order of shapes (to Front and to Back)

To change the Z-order of your shapes:

  • Select a shape on the canvas
  • Expand the Shape Attributes panel in the Inspector
  • Click on the BACK or FRONT button
  • Save your visualization or model

Place a Shape in an another Frame (Slide)

To place a shape in another frame (slide):

  • Select a shape on the canvas
  • Expand the Shape Attributes panel in the Inspector
  • Change the frame value in the dropdownlist
  • Save your visualization
  • Use the control buttons on the player bar to switch between frames (slides)

Is Printing Size of Shapes incorrect?

If the size of your shapes is incorrect in the print view, this is because the size of your page is not configured correctly. To solve this problem, change the size of your Page back and forth in the Inspector and save your model, view or visualization.