Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

Client: How do I create hierarchy (functional decomposition) in my iGrafx diagrams?

In Process and BPMN diagrams within a document, to create a new diagram in the same document and a hierarchical link to it, simply right-click and choose 'Add Subprocess' (available in iGrafx 2011 v14.1 and later versions). Name the diagram, and click OK. The new diagram is displayed for you.

If you are trying to link diagrams that already exist in the file, link to another file, or for alternate methods and further detail, please read the information below:

In iGrafx you can easily capture top-down processes and drill down into successive levels of detail using linked diagrams. To create a hierarchical structure in your iGrafx diagrams within an iGrafx document (file), you need to link the diagrams together. The lower-level diagram is a subprocess to one or more higher-level processes. Properly linking the diagrams in the same document will ensure that iGrafx simulation (e.g. in Process or BPMN diagram types) will send transactions from parent processes to child (or sub) processes. During simulation, for Process and BPMN type diagrams that can be simulated, transactions move from one linked diagram to another, and then return to their parent (calling) diagram when finished.

The following sections describe how to create hierarchy in the various diagram types.

Process Type Diagrams 

For a Process type diagram, to create a new diagram and hierarchically link to it, right-click the shape and choose 'Add Subprocess' (you have the option to use the current diagram as a template for the new diagram). [Add Subprocess is available in iGrafx 2011 v14.1 and later].

You may also use the Process page in the Guide category (the 'Process Guide') to link processes together in a hierarchy, even if the diagram already exists in the file. To use the Guide page:

  1. Display the Properties of the shape (e.g. double-click, or right-click and choose Properties).
  2. Choose an Activity type of "Subprocess".
  3. If you want to create a New diagram that doesn't exist, then click the New button to create a new process, give the process a name, and click OK. If you have already created a diagram, or copied one into the file, it will be listed in the drop-down menu and you simply need to select it from the list.  Note: With a repository, if you checked out the diagram only, and not the entire document (file), the New button will be grayed out. Check out the entire document to be able to create hierarchy.
  4. Click OK, to save and close the Properties dialog box (or click Apply to save your changes and leave the dialog displayed).

BPMN Type Diagrams

For a BPMN type diagram, to create a new diagram and hierarchically link to it, right-click the shape and choose 'Add Subprocess' (you have the option to use the current diagram as a template for the new diagram). [Add Subprocess is available in iGrafx 2011 v14.1 and later].

You may also use the BPMN Guide (and Task) page in the Shape category:

  1. Display the Properties of the shape (e.g. right-click and choose Properties) and choose the Guide page. 
  2. Choose a BPMN Flow Object Type of Activity, and the Activity type of "Collapsed Subprocess". You may also choose "Embedded subprocess" if you want to create hierarchy within one diagram instead of linking to a separate diagram and hiding the hierarchical detail.
  3. Link to the file:
    1. If you want to link to another file, choose the File or Web Page button, or the Repository Link button, find the file, and select it.
    2. If you want to create hierarchy within the document (within one file):
      1. Click the Details button; this will display the Task page in the Modeling category.
      2. If you want to create a New diagram, then click the New button to create a new BPMN diagram (process), give the process a name, and click OK.  If you have already created a diagram, or copied one into the file, it will be listed in the drop-down menu and you simply need to select it from the list.

        Note: When using a repository, if you checked out the diagram only, and not the entire document (file), the New button will be grayed out. Check out the entire document to be able to create hierarchy.

  4. Click OK, to save and close the Properties dialog box (or click Apply to save your changes and leave the dialog displayed).

You now have a new diagram that is hierarchically linked as a 'child' of the diagram you have linked from. To display the new diagram, right-click on the shape that links to the 'child' diagram, and choose the subprocess from the context menu.

If you want to simulate your hierarchy of diagrams, they must all be in the same file, or you must use a repository and use the diagram sharing mechanism. See the separate solution on simulating across files.

Lean Value Stream Map (VSM) Diagrams 

If you are using Lean VSM diagrams, to create hierarchically linked diagrams, do the following:

  1. Display the Properties of the shape (e.g. right-click and choose Properties).
  2. In the Lean Data type drop-down menu (at the top-left of the Lean Data page), choose a type of "Rollup Data".
  3. Create a New diagram by clicking the New button to create a new Lean VSM: Type a name in the New Component dialog box, and click OK to save and close the New Component dialog box and create your new diagram. 
    Note: If you have already created a diagram, or copied one into the file, it will be listed in the drop-down menu and this step will not be necessary. Note: When using a repository, if you checked out the diagram only, and not the entire document (file), the New button will be grayed out.
  4. Click OK, to save and close the Properties dialog box (or click Apply to save your changes and leave the dialog displayed). 

You now have a Lean VSM shape that links to another Lean VSM diagram, and you can right-click on the shape to navigate (follow the link to) the new diagram and create its content.

Linking to Other Files (Documents) and Diagrams

For a link to another iGrafx file, and optionally a diagram within that iGrafx file, do the following:

  1. Select the shape.
  2. From the Insert menu, choose Link.
  3. Click the File or Web Page button on the left.
  4. Note: If you are using a repository, click the Repository Link button, find your file in the repository, and skip the following step.
  5. Click the file browse button (e.g. the folder with magnifying glass) to find your iGrafx file and click Open. You may also specify a diagram in the file, by using the drop-down menu list of diagrams in the file you browsed to.
  6. (Optional:) Choose how you want to describe the link when activating it.
  7. Click OK.

Note: This method of linking will NOT show the linked-to file in the hierarchy in the Document Components window. Furthermore, this method will not work for simulation, as the content is outside the current file (unless you are using a repository and can 'share' separate files into a single master file).

JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.