As described in Introduction to the SystemWeaver Meta Model, attributes are used to describe items in a structured way. And because they are defined, they can be included in configured grids, reports, etc. There are two kinds of attributes - default and additional - and both types display for all users. Like items and parts, default attributes are defined by a SystemWeaver Architect and are part of the meta model in the SystemWeaver database. If attributes are going to be used in a system, it is recommended that they be set as default. Additional attributes can be useful for exceptional cases, when just a few objects need an attribute value, but should be used with care since views and reports that are not aware of their use will ignore them. They are not part of the meta model. 


There are many different types of attributes and the editor presented to users in the Explorer client for value selection varies depending on what type of attribute it is. 


While you can view item attributes using the Overview view, the Attributes view will display the attributes of the selected item in the structure tree, as well as any part attributes of its parts.


You can select the Attributes view via the Items Ribbon or by selecting it in the View drop-down list.



 It is divided into two sections: Item Attributes and Part Attributes.


In the above example, the item selected, "AT1OG2_X_EMS", has three Default attributes. One Additional attribute, "Comment", has been added. The "DPFOutletGasTemperature" Signal part has one Default attribute called "Start". 


Item Attributes

This top section displays the item's attributes. As mentioned earlier, default attributes are set by Architects and can be used to filter, sort and analyze items when using views, generating reports and grids, etc. Architects have an option of setting a primary attribute which typically defines an item, e.g., requirement ID. The display order of the attributes in this section is defined in the meta model. 


Tip: To view the SID and description (if one exists) of an item attribute, press the Alt key and click on the attribute row: The description is read-only and is entered by an Architect.


When selecting one or more item attributes or right-clicking in the section, the context menu will present the available options:


These options are described in more detail in Attributes.


Part Attributes

Unlike the Overview view, the Attributes view displays both the selected item and the selected item's part attributes. Just like with item attributes, you can interact with part attributes.  



When right-clicking in the section, the context menu will present the available options:


These options are described in more detail in Attributes.


Batch Adding, Updating, and Deleting Attributes

One advantage of using the Attributes view is that it allows you to batch add/modify/delete attributes and values for most attribute types. Typically, you would be updating items of the same type in the tree, but the functionality does technically allow you to select different types as well. When you select multiple items, the view will display any common attributes and any common values in them for the selected items and highlight, in yellow, any attributes where the values are not identical. 


In the above example, the 10 selected items in the tree all have the 5 attributes displayed - 3 default and 2 additional. The values for "CAN Format" and "Length (bytes)" attributes are the same for all 10 items. However, for "CAN ID" and "Comment", the values differ so the view cannot render them. 


If you change any attribute value, the new value will be assigned to all the selected items. To change a value, simply use the editor provided, e.g., text box, drop-down list, etc. The yellow highlighting will disappear to indicate that all selected items now share the same attribute value.


Attribute types that do not support batch update will appear gray (such as the XML "ValueSpec" attribute in the above example).