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Responding to and Propagating Changes

When an element is created, deleted or updated, you can write code that propagates the change to other parts of the model, or to external resources such as files, databases, or other components.

As a guideline, consider these techniques in the following order:

Technique

Scenarios

For more information

Define a Calculated domain property.

A domain property whose value is calculated from other properties in the model. For example, a price that is the sum of prices of related elements.

Calculated and Custom Storage Properties

Define a Custom Storage domain property.

A domain property stored in other parts of the model or externally. For example, you could parse an expression string into a tree in the model.

Calculated and Custom Storage Properties

Override change handlers such as OnValueChanging and OnDeleting

Keep different elements in sync, and keep external values in sync with the model.

Constrain values to defined ranges.

Called immediately before and after property value and other changes. You can terminate the change by throwing an exception.

Domain Property Value Change Handlers

Rules

You can define rules that are queued for execution just before the end of a transaction in which a change has happened. They are not executed on Undo or Redo. Use them to keep one part of the store in synch with another.

Rules Propagate Changes Within the Model

Store Events

The modeling store provides notifications of events such as adding or deleting an element or link, or changing the value of a property. The event is also executed on Undo and Redo. Use store events to update values that are not in the store.

Event Handlers Propagate Changes Outside the Model

.NET Events

Shapes have event handlers that respond to mouse clicks and other gestures. You have to register for these events for each object. Registration is typically done in an override of InitializeInstanceResources, and must be done for each element.

These events usually occur outside a transaction.

How to: Intercept a Click on a Shape or Decorator

Bounds Rules

A bounds rule is used specifically to constrain the bounds of a shape.

BoundsRules Constrain Shape Location and Size

Selection rules

Selection rules specifically constrain what the user can select.

How to: Access and Constrain the Current Selection

OnAssocatedPropertyChanged

Indicate the model elements’ states using features of shapes and connectors such as shadow, arrowheads, color, and line widths and style.

Updating Shapes and Connectors to Reflect the Model

Change notifiers, rules, and events are run when changes occur in a model.

Rules are usually applied at the end transaction in which the change has occurred, and events are applied after changes in a transaction are committed.

Use store events to synchronize the model with objects outside the Store, and rules to maintain consistency within the Store.

  • Creating Custom Rules You create a custom rule as a derived class from an abstract rule. You must also notify the framework about the custom rule. For more information, see Rules Propagate Changes Within the Model.

  • Subscribing to Events Before you can subscribe to an event, create an event handler and delegate. Then use the EventManagerDirectory property to subscribe to the event. For more information, see Event Handlers Propagate Changes Outside the Model.

  • Undoing Changes When you undo a transaction, events are raised, but rules are not applied. If a rule changes a value and you undo that change, the value is reset to the original value during the undo action. When an event is raised, you must manually change the value back to its original value. To learn more about transactons and undo, see How to: Use Transactions to Update the Model.

  • Passing Event Arguments to Rules and Events Both events and rules are passed an EventArgs parameter that has information about how the model changed.

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