This article covers some of the standard functionality and tools in the SystemWeaver swExplorer client so you can get started using the application. Follow along at your own pace.


Note: This article does not cover functionality in specific modules and extensions, e.g., Requirements, Test, Documents, etc. Specific modules are covered in separate articles.


Logging in to the Server

Each time you log in to swExplorer, the server, port and username are remembered for future use.


Logging in for the First Time

  1. Open the swExplorer client.
  2. Click on the More button.
  3. Enter the Server and Port information given to you by your Administrator.
  4. Enter your username in the Login field. 
  5. Enter your password in the Password field. 
  6. Click Login.

You are now logged into the server. The next time you log in, you will only need to enter your password since it will remember the server and port information from your last login.

Note: The “Login as xxx” button is used to log into SystemWeaver using network authentication. Your local IT administrator will inform you if this is an available option.

Tip: To clear server entries that are no longer used from your Server drop-down list, simply select the one you want to delete and press Delete on your keyboard (Clearing Server Login Entries).

Want to confirm which server you are logged into? 

Switch to the Welcome tab any time to view the Logged in on [server:port] information!

Opening an Item

To get started after logging in, you have to open an item. There are many ways to open an item of which the most common are:

  • Open an Item with an ID
  • Open an Item of a specific type

Open an Item with an ID

If you have the ID for the item you want to open, you can use this option. (Example ID: x040000000000047C)

  1. On the Items tab, click on the drop-down part of the Open item button in the ribbon and select With ID.
  2. In the Open Item/Part With SystemWeaver Id dialog, enter the ID of the item and click Open. The Item will load to the specification view pane.

Open an Item of a Specific Type

If you know the item type name or type ID (SID) for the item you want to open, you can use this option. (Example item type and SID: Baseline Architecture (4BAS)

  1. On the Items tab, click on the drop-down part of the Open item button in the ribbon and select Other item type. An Open Item page will display.
  2. In the Select Type dialog, you can use the Filter textbox to search for the item type name or the SID (which is the type identifier).
  3. Select the item type you are looking for and click OK. (You can also just double-click the item type.) The available items of that item type will display on the Open Item page. 
  4. Here, you can search and filter on all columns in order to find the item you are looking for. 
  5. Double-click on the item you want to open. It will load to the specification view pane.

Tip: See Shortcuts for available keyboard shortcuts for opening items as well as How to Open Items and Searching for Items and Parts for an explanation of all options.

Modifying Data

All changes you make in SystemWeaver are saved automatically. They are sent to the server and are readable and usable by other users immediately which is a huge time-saver for the software development process. Many views in swExplorer support real-time collaboration even further in that the view will be updated in real-time as someone is making a change. Views that are not real-time collaborative require an explicit refresh action by the user, i.e., switching between views.

Transaction Concept – Real-time Distributed Collaboration

Note: For technical reasons, some views are not automatically updated if someone else makes a change on any of the items of the view. This is mostly the case for views that use complex calculations that are based on potentially many items. One example of such a view is the Reports view, which can include any number of items in the generation of the report view.

Adding Parts to the Structure Tree

The meta model governs what can be added where. When adding parts to the structure tree, the options available are directly dependent on the meta model. Changing the meta model changes the options available in the swExplorer client.

The example below represents the connectivity for a Function and shows that a Function has building blocks called Requirements that specify the different areas of the Function. The Requirements are connected directly to the Function through parts and later the Component implements the Function by realizing that functionality. The Component also has a relation to the Interface connecting it to other Components which it either sends or receives information from.

To create and add new content to a specification:

  1. Right-click on the item you want to add something to.
  2. Expand the New menu and select the part type you want to add.
  3. A New Part dialog will appear. It will have the Library Access predefined. Based on your selection, the Select Item Type section will list the item types that can be created and added to the selected part type. Types in italic are abstract and cannot be used. They just show the inheritance structure for understanding.
  4. Select the item type you want to create, give it a name in the Enter Name text box and click OK. Your new Item will now display in the structure tree.

Note: Item names can always be changed later while your work is in progress.

Adding Information to Specification Parts

There are two ways to add information to a specification part:

  • Writing in the Description field
  • Defining Attributes

These options are available in the Overview view. 

Using the Description Field

The description field is used to describe the properties of an item using formatted text and pictures. There are two ways to add information. 

The first is to just start typing! Test this in an item in your training database. Your updates are saved automatically and other users can view them in real time.

The other way is to activate the field's advanced editor by double-clicking anywhere in the Description. Test this as well!

Editing and Adding Attribute Values

Attributes describe properties of items that require a high level of formalization that cannot be achieved by writing free text. Attributes are defined in the meta model in the SystemWeaver server and can be used to filter, sort and analyze items when using views, generating reports and grids, etc. They are available in the Attributes section of the Overview view. The attributes shown are set as the Default Attributes. Edit or add attribute values by entering values in the text box or by using any available field tools depending on their field type, e.g., drop-down list, etc.

A warning indication  is used whenever an attribute value is not correct according to a predefined rule. A rule can be that the attribute must be coded or that a string value must conform to a rule, defined as a so called regular expression. If you place the cursor on top of the icon, a hint should appear telling you about the specific problem.

Note: Additional attributes can be created for exceptional uses, but it is not recommended unless they are formally incorporated into the meta model. Otherwise, views and reports that are not aware of their use will ignore the attribute value causing them to go unnoticed in, for example, the creation of a report.

Changing the Viewing Order of Parts

The Parts view is a good place to define the viewing order of an item's parts. This can be done in other views, like the structure tree, but renumbering in the structure tree can sometimes be confusing, since the tree view does not separate parts of different part types.

The order of the parts in the structure tree is based on the parts numbering order (A), so if you renumber in the Parts view, the order in the tree view will also be changed (and vice versa). Note also that parts are ordered only within the group of the same part type, which all share a common numbering sequence.

There are three ways to change the ordering number of parts:

  1. Select the part you want to move and use Alt+Up key or Alt+Down key to move it to a new viewing position. The selected part will be renumbered and move up and down in the structure tree in real-time. Note that you can only move parts this way if there is no sorting active.
  2. To quickly move a part a farther distance in the list, select the part to move and press Ctrl+C ("copy"). Then, right-click another part and select the Move here option. The "copied" part will then be put above the selected part (and all parts below will be renumbered automatically).
  3. To quickly renumber many parts alphabetically, first sort them by clicking on a column header, for example Part Name or Item Name. Then, right-click on a part in the list, and select the Renumber option. All parts of the same type will be renumbered (but not the other parts).

Status and Versioning

All Items in SystemWeaver have their own lifecycle or version chain. The versioning concept is supported by statuses. A status indicates the editing status of an item.

Item Status

An item can have one of the following version statuses:


The item is editable by any user having Write access to the item. This status indicates that the item may change at any time without notice to other users.


This status indicates that an item is preliminary ready for use by others. No user may change the item. Only the owner, Root users or users having Change access rights may perform the Thaw operation to open it for editing again. Note: Changes after Thaw are not traceable in the version history since no new version is created.


This status indicates that an item is not editable and cannot be made editable by anyone. Any user may, however, create a new version from a released item. New versions are traceable using the standard mechanisms of SystemWeaver.

CS Released

Complete Set Released.  This status has the same meaning as Released, except that this status can only be set if all parts and sub-parts are in status 'Released' or 'CS Released'. The 'CS Released' status thus guarantees that the entire item structure is at least 'Released'. This is normally the status you want when releasing.

Status and versioning information is available both in the structure tree and in the Overview. In the structure tree, it is also possible to see if there exists a newer version of an item than the version in the structure definition. This is indicated in the Next Version column.

Changing the Status of an Item

You can change the status of an item by using the right-click Status menu. The menu is context sensitive so unavailable actions are grayed out.

The option operates on the selected items. This means that you need Write access for the selected items. The options are:

Freeze item(s)
This option is available for items in 'Work' status.

Thaw item(s)
This option is available for items in 'Frozen' status.

Release item(s)

This option is available for items in 'Work' or 'Frozen' status.

  1. Select the item you want to change the status of. 
  2. Select the desired option. The Batch operation dialog will appear. 
  3. Click OK to confirm your selection and close the dialog. The Status of the selected item will now appear updated. 

Changing the Status of an Entire Structure

You can change the status of an entire structure using the Complete Status view. The view lists all items below the selected item except the ones already in status 'CS_Release'. Here you can multi-select the items you want to change the status of (by clicking while holding down the Shift key (for selecting adjacent items) or Ctrl key (for selecting non-adjacent items)) and then press the associated action buttons (A).

  1. Select the items you want to change the status of. 
  2. Click on the Freeze selected, Thaw Selected or Release selected action button. The Batch operation dialog will appear and provide a status for your request. 
  3. Click Exit to close Batch operation. The Status of the selected items will now appear updated. 

Versioning an Item

You can change the version of an item using the right-click Status menu. The menu is context sensitive so forbidden actions are grayed out. 

The options operate on the selected parts. This means that you need Write access for the item owning the parts. The owning item must also be in 'Work' status. The options are:

New version and replace
Creates a new version of the selected Item and replaces the selected item with its new version in the structure definition.

Replace to next version
Takes the next version available of the selected item and replaces it.

Replace to any version
Shows a dialog with all available versions of an item where the appropriate one can be selected.

Branch options
Gives you the option to create a version branch of an item if the owning item is a branched version. It is recommended to keep the number of branches to a minimum.

  1. Select the item you want to change the version of. 
  2. Select the desired versioning option. The Batch operation dialog will appear. 
  3. Click OK to confirm your selection and close the dialog. The Version of the selected item will now appear updated. 

Note: that for all of the versioning options, the item above in the structure tree has to be in status 'Work' because you are actually updating a part of that Item as well.

Comparing Versions of an Item

The Versions view gives an overview of the version history of an item, change versions, and easily compare the different versions. 

  1. Select the item whose versions you want to compare. 
  2. To open the Versions view, click on the Versions button in the CM menu. 

Version History

The version of the item selected in the structure tree is indicated in blue in the Version column of the version history pane (A) which is the top section of the view. In the example shown below, the 'My Component' item selected in the tree is Version 1. The version history includes the following columns:

  • The first column illustrates the version history of the item as blue dots connected with lines. For a simple version history, this will be a simple line of versions. More complex cases, for branched and merged version histories are described in the section Complex versioning: branch and merge section of the Help.
  • The Status column indicate the status of each version.
  • The Name column shows the name of each version. Note that the name of the item may change between different versions.
  • The fifth column is labeled according to the name of the top item in the structure tree, in this case "SystemWeaver Demo", and shows the use of the different versions of the item in the context of the top item in the structure tree.
  • The Change log column lists the change log of each version, which can be set using the Edit change log option of the context menu of the view as described below.

Individual Version Properties

Below the version history, the left-hand pane displays the version information for the selected item in the tree. (B)

If you click on another version in the version history, the content of that version will be listed in the right-hand pane. (C)

Attribute and property changes are highlighted in yellow. If there is no highlighting, then no changes have been made.

Description field changes are indicated in red: 

For Parts, white on both versions means no change. Yellow highlighting of a property on both versions means changed version. Gray on one side and full yellow on the other side means that there is a new part (or an old one has been removed depending on if you comparing with a newer or older version): 

What's Next?

We hope that you found this overview helpful. You can extend your knowledge by reading more about working with items, parts and versioning in the application Help as well as by browsing through SystemWeaver Explorer