Custom diagrams


I am trying to create a new enterprise-level architecture framework. I have used UML to define the base elements (Base classes are Nodes and Connectors, with specialised classes for specific Nodes and Connectors).

The framework itself is not intended to be tied to any particular standard model (e.g. the architecture may contain Activity X, and this node could be used in BPMN as a Task, in CMMN as an Activity, in UML as a Use Case etc.). However, my intent is that when the general user is working with the architecture, this will be displayed as simple ‘boxes and lines’. A single style of standard diagram (e.g., BPMN or CMMN) will not address all the architecting needs, and a UML-based diagram will be too ‘foreign’ for the customer.

As such, the architecture model is a virtual model, not tied to any concrete representation and can be ported (within reason) to any standard representation.

For the most part, I am conceiving that my nodes are simple boxes, and my connectors will be simple lines between nodes. I do have one complex Node, which is a black box group of Nodes. A connector that passes through the boundary to connect something inside the box or outside the box should be shown as terminating at a Port.

Each Node is defined in a UML package, and the allowable connectors are also shown in the package diagram.


I would like to use my defined framework in a custom diagram where the Nodes and Connectors can not only be shown with custom boxes, but the selection of connectors from each node can be constrained to the allowable connectors. While I can manage the display (shape, colour, font, icon) through stereotypes on a profile, I do not know how to constraint stereotyped connectors to certain stereotyped nodes.

In addition, I cannot see in the Profile how I can create a complex shape where Ports are constrained to sit on the boundary of a specific stereotyped Node.

I would like to create a canvas where I can define the shape, colour and icons of each of the defined nodes and also define the behaviours of the stereotypes. This diagram would also allow the user to enter data into the fields as defined for each stereotyped Node.

I hope I have explained this well enough.

How can I leverage the power of Visual Paradigm to achieve this flexibility?


Thank you for your post. Currently, we do not support the various constraint mechanisms you mentioned. About the development of enterprise-level architecture description, you may try our NAF / DoDAF / MODAF framework tools. They provide a grid view for creating and managing architectural views (UML -based). For details, please read:

NAF tool:

DoDAF tool:

MODAF tool:

Best regards,
Jick Yeung


Thanks for your response. Perhaps this could be a consideration for the future - managing the model and model instances (conceptual nodes and connectors) separate from the views (symbols on the page). I am familiar with the *AF family, but that is a nuanced discussion for another time.