Modeler: 10/CustomAttr

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Custom Attributes

Adding additional descriptive information to your information model can be enabled through custom attributes. For instance a Fact Type has a name, an alias, comments. But if the model could use source references, the custom attributes can be setup to contain these descriptive values, in addition to the standard information on these Fact Types.

This also applies to other elements in the Fact Oriented Models. And in addition to Custom Attributes, Custom Annotations can be defined.


Annotation types can be declared to be activated similar to Categories at certain element types in CaseTalk. This way the user can annotate in addition the already existing Comment fields.


Per category of attributes you should specify for which entities in CaseTalk they apply. For instance Owner related information are enabled for Facts, Objects and Labels.

The category will be added as a tab to the property dialogs for the selected entity.



Every category may contain attributes. These attributes are presented in the previously named tabs in the property dialogs.


Every attribute should have a datatype, and additionally may contain a predefined list, or a default value. And once used, the CaseTalk user may edit these attributes or update them through the specific entity dialogs.


Custom attributes are of a specific type. This limits the input by the user later on. The available types are:

  • text : Any text can be entered.
  • timestamp: A datetime is to be entered, typically used in combination with keyword %NOW%.
  • options: A list can be set from which the user may choose.
  • boolean: Simply a value of True or False can be set.
  • color: A color can be chosen.
  • uri: The text value is treated as an internet link. This may be convenient to dynamically link it to an online glossary. E.g. a default value may be used: "". This will use Google Search to find a keyword corresponding to the identifier of the current entity.


The default value which is applied upon creation of the relevant information element in the model. This could contain a keyword, which will het expanded before applied.


The value will be applied whenever an update is applied on the information element. This could contain a keyword, which will het expanded before applied.

User Editable

Checking this box allows users to alter the custom attribute value. For example: To save a timestamp of the moment of creation, the default would be set to the keyword %NOW%, and the user editable state would be turned off.


If an attribute definition is mandatory, the user cannot close the edit dialog of the relevant information element before this value is set. For instance derivable fact types may require an annotation with a derivation rule.


Within the Default or Update editbox, you can specify any text value. Also you may use some predefined keywords which will expand into a value upon usage.

User Interface

  • In CaseTalk the custom annotations are rendered as tabs in the comment fields in several property dialogs.
  • The categories show up as tabs at the top of the various property dialogs.
  • The attributes are shown as a grid inside a tab, corresponding to the category, inside the property dialogs of the information elements.

Below are screenprints from a Fact Type property Dialog, extended with Custom Annotation and Attributes for the modelers to document the source attributes belonging to the fact type.



Throughout the use of CaseTalk these attributes will show up. Another example is this selected Fact Type in the repository:


Reserved Attributes

Some custom attributes are used by CaseTalk itself to enhance the user interface experience. Once the following are declared and active, the user interface will support the value set by users.


Information models are modeled in a single point of time. This makes is way easier to understand facts. The modeler may however decide that in system implementation, some history of facts need to be maintained. This can therefor be set to None, as in no history required. Simple, which indicates a single timeline needs to be added the records. And History which will add a double timeline requirement to the records.

 Category: Data Warehouse
 Attribute: History
 Attribute type: Options
 Options: None, Simple, History


Stating facts does not adhere to various systems implementing or providing data for the fact. However if the modeler realizes there may be various systems in operation by the organization, and at one point they need to be aggregated, this indicator may be used to indicate a certain uncertainty or contradiction to the data on the source systems.

 Category: Data Warehouse
 Attribute: Transitional
 Attribute type: Boolean


Allow OTFT's in diagrams to be drawn in a custom color:

 Category: Task
 Attribute: Color
 Attribute Type: Color

Allow OTFT's in diagrams to be drawn with a specific background color:

 Category: Task
 Attribute: Background
 Attribute Type: Color

Work Status

Display status icons for OTFT's in the diagrams:

 Category: Task
 Attribute: Status
 Attribute Type: icons

Concept Typing

Display concept type icons for OTFT's in the diagrams:

 Category: Source
 Attribute: Concept
 Attribute Type: options
 Options: person, event, location, thing