Toad World® Forums

Right-angled relationship lines, display toggle, and better auto-layout


#1

There needs to be an option, like in ER/Studio, to use right-angled (square-cornered) relationship lines rather than just straight lines between entities. Without them, large models become unreadable.

It would also be nice if we could toggle relationship name display between constantly on or just display-on-mouseover as needed (right-angled lines make it more clear which relationship is which).

Finally, auto-layout currently just makes a big mess of everything on a model with over 100 tables on it.


#2

Hello Adam,

Thank you for your feedback. Let me reply and give some tips.

  1. Right-angled relationship lines
    A: Tips for new relationships that you’re creating:

Tip 1 - While creating a relationship, you can add break points. Click the parent entity and then click the work area as many times as many break points you like to create. Finally click the child entity.

Tip 2! - Make only horizontal and vertical relationship lines:

  1. Select a relationship type and click the parent entity.
  2. Press SHIFT and hold the key down. - Now only vertical and horizontal lines will be offered to you wherever you move your mouse cursor. (Click the work area to create some break points.)
  3. Finally, click the child entity.

B: Right-angled relationship lines for already existing entities:
You can add break points and re-arrange the lines manually.
Please see the Help file | Modeling | Physical Data Model | ERD | Relationships | Editing a Relationship Line.
OR please see the Manual | Changing the Look chapter | Arranging Relationship Lines.

You can also watch this flash movie:
http://modeling.inside.quest.com/entry.jspa?externalID=1151&categoryID=158

Note: In TDM3, there is not an option ‘Straight Relationship Lines’ as it is in TDM2. However, we will add it to TDM3 (CR# 37 060).

  1. Relationship names
    Please see how it works in TDM3 at the moment (see the attachment).
    If you have any recommendations on how to further improve this, let us know. Thanks in advance.

  2. Autolayout
    We tested the autolayout feature properly, and also on models with more than 100 tables and more than 140 relationships. The result was quite satisfactory. Anyway, there’s always room for other improvements. Please send us some screenshots or your complete model so as we can verify this issue. Of course, the model will be used for the testing purposes only. If you can, please send it to: modeling@quest.com.
    Thanks very much.

Well, I hope you find the information helpful. In case of any questions, please feel free to write me back. Thanks.

Regards,

Vladka
Relationship lines and names.doc (25 KB)


#3

Since this is my BIGGEST pet peeve with TDM, I’ll chime in here.

For the most part, right-angled (or orthogonal, as they are called in ERwin) lines are sufficient without having to add additional breakpoints. What we need is the ability to use orthogonal lines AND relocate the generated breakpoints for those lines AND relocate the anchor (entry/exit) point of the relationship lines to the entities. That really would maximize flexibility with a minimum level of effort on the database developer’s part, and that’s what I want.

First, give me the ability to relocate the anchor position of the relationship to the entity. Then I’ll think about manually generating and locating breakpoints. Or first give me orthogonal lines where I can re-locate the breakpoints and keep the orthogonal lines and I’ll think about accepting the generated anchor points. However, with the hard attached anchor points, I can easily put relationships into and out of entites where I can not keep the relationship lines from crossing because I cannot move the anchor points. The problem that I have with the current implementation of breakpoints is that once they are set, they are locked to that spatial location on the workspace. If you move the entity, the anchor points of the relationships move, but the breakpoints are fixed in space so you have to go back and move those as well. It’s also really easy to get your breakpoints behind some other object on the workspace so you have to move that object to get to the breakpoint handle so you can move the breakpoint and then move the other object back which then moves those relationship lines and breakpoints. I sometimes move a breakpoint way off of the screen so that it takes the relationship name with it until I get the other objects where I want them. Then I move the break point back into view. There’s just to much moving that has to go on.

Actually, I have a problem with the term “breakpoint” for a relationship line. A “breakpoint” is a spot in a program where you want the debugger to stop and has nothing to do with a database model or a relationship line, but that’s another story for another day. I’m old and set in my ways.


#4

Hello Bruce,

Thanks very much for your response and tips on improvements.

After receiving your post, we started some discussions on this issue in our team and the result now is that there are ten new suggestions on how to improve this functionality. So, we will further discuss them and deal with them. :wink:

Thanks very much for all the inspiration coming from you, Bruce! :slight_smile:

Vladka + TDM Team


#5

Bruce,

Just a tip for one thing you wrote about:

The problem that I have with the current implementation of breakpoints is that once they are set, they are locked to that spatial location on the workspace. If you move the entity, the anchor points of the relationships move, but the breakpoints are fixed in space so you have to go back and move those as well.

When you need to move an entity, please select also appropriate relationship (use SHIFT to select both) and then move the entity. -> Relationship, including the break points, will move too.

Does it help? Is this behaviour what you need? If you have any remarks, please write us. Thanks!

Regards,

Vladka + TDM Team


#6

That does help a bit, thanks.