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Communicate Software Design using PostMania

The communication among developers is very important in any software project. Whether it is to communicate design changes that may influence the system behavior, or to understand a design blueprint, effective communication is always a key factor in delivering a great software.

Compatible edition(s): Enterprise, Professional, Standard, Modeler

  • August 24, 2016
  • Views: 12,938
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PostMania is a tool that helps your team to communicate with each other. By using PostMania, team members can post messages or questions to diagrams, or even to a specific shape in a diagram. The other team members will be notified. He/she can make a reply accordingly.

The use of PostMania can bring several benefits. First, the conversation between team members are all made around diagram, or even around a shape, which ensures that the communication is unambiguous. Secondly, the post messages are kept with the project, which provides a way for team members to trace back important discussions made before. Last, but not least, team members can post and reply not only in Visual Paradigm but also in any web browser. This allows team members to response to questions anytime and anywhere.

Preparation

In order not to mess up your production data, we have prepared a project file for you to walk through this tutorial. Please download the project file Content Management System.vpp and ask your server administrator to import it into the server. By the end of this tutorial, you may ask the administrator to delete the project file from server.

This tutorial will show you how two team members can communicate with each other using PostMania. Therefore, some steps will be done by another team member who also has read and commit permission to the project Content Management System. You are suggested to ask your teammate to work with you in completing this tutorial.

Enabling PostMania on a project

In order to use PostMania on a project, administrator must enable the 'PostMania' option on that project in VPository or Teamwork Server, depending on the hosting option your team use.

  1. Login VPository/Teamwork Server as an administrator, in a Web browser.
  2. Open the Projects tab at the top of the page.
  3. From the project list, select the project Content Management System. We are assuming that you have already imported the sample project to server as we instructed in the previous section. If not, please read the previous section again.
  4. On the right hand side, click on the PostMania tab.
  5. Check Enable PostMania. If it's been checked, just keep it as-is.
    Enabling PostMania
  6. Click Save.

Posting a discussion topic

Developers who want to raise a design issue can post a discussion topic in PostMania. Post can be made around a specific diagram or a shape. Typically, a post is made to clarify design issues ("Are you sure?"), to request change ("Please revise this part"), to ask for action ("Please implement this."), etc.

In this section, you are going to create a post in PostMania asking your teammate to revise the database design.

  1. Start Visual Paradigm.
  2. Open the project Content Management System from server. You can open a project by selecting Project > Open from the application toolbar.
    Opening a project
  3. Open the Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) CMS. Assuming that you are a developer who are programing a function. You found the entity Post has missed a column required for storing the post content. What you will do is to request the database designer to revise the design as well as the database schema.
    ERD opened
  4. Open the action bar by clicking on the tiny button on the right hand side of the diagram.
    Open Action Bar
  5. Click on PostMania Topic Pane on the action bar. On the right hand side of the diagram you see the PostMania Topic Pane. The PostMania Topic Pane is where discussion topics and content listed.
    Open PostMania Topic Pane
  6. Select the entity Post.
    Selected entity
  7. Click on New Topic at the bottom of the pane.
    Clicking on new post
  8. At the top of the PostMania Topic Pane, select your teammate to notify in the To field.
    Selecting 'To' member
  9. Change the subject from Post to Column missing in the Post table.
    Post subject entered
  10. Enter the post message: There should be an attribute for storing the post content. Please correct the design and the schema.
    Post message entered
  11. Click Post at the bottom of the PostMania Topic Pane.
    Clicking post

Replying a post

When someone has made a post, you can give him a reply if you have any comment about what he/she says. In this section, your teammate will correct the database design and give the post a reply.

  1. Ask your teammate to open the project Content Management System from server. You should see the number 1 appear at the top right of the project thumbnail in the Open Project window. This represents the number of unread posts in PostMania.
    Opening project
  2. You should see a notification as well. Click on the Notification icon at the bottom right of the status bar.
    Reviewd new message
  3. You are brought to the PostMania page. The post created to you are listed on the left.
    PostMania screen
  4. Click on the post to open it.
    Open post
  5. The post is shown on the right. You may give a reply at the bottom of the screen but let's open the diagram to check the problem in detail. Click Open at the top right corner.
    Open diagram from post
  6. The ERD is opened, with the Post entity automatically selected, and the post message presented.
    Diagram opened
  7. Let's correct the design. Add a column content : text to the Post entity.
    Column added to entity
  8. Commit the changes by selecting Team > Commit from the application toolbar.
  9. Let's inform the post creator about the correction of design. Click on the Click here to reply field at the bottom of the PostMania Topic Pane and enter: Design corrected. Database schema will be updated shortly.
    Reply entered
  10. Click Post. If you switch back to the original working environment, you should see the reply made under the post, like the screen below..
    Post reply appear



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