Friday, 18 June 2010 10:27

Free and Open-Source add-in EA Navigator

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The EA Navigator is a free and open-source (BSD License) add-in for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect that makes the life of any Enterprise Architect user a lot easier.

It allows for quick navigation between different elements in a model, especially between those elements that are not easily found using the standard EA features.

Using the dockable add-in window it retains a history of the 50 last selected model elements, and shows the important related elements at a glance.

The EA Navigator is part of the Enterprise Architect Toolpack

It allows you to navigate between:

  • Operations and Sequence/Communication diagrams
  • Operations and their implementation (Behavior)
  • Operations and CallOperationActions
  • Types and Parameters
  • Types and Attributes
  • Tagged Values and the elements they reference
  • Elements and their owner

And to any Fully Qualified Name (FQN) or GUID that has been copied to the clipboard.



download button v2.4
EA Navigator older versions

Docked window

Once installed there should be a new menu option Navigate in the Add-Ins/Extensions menu.

If this option is not visible then something must have gone something wrong during the installation.

The EA Navigator will now show its functions depending on the type the element that is selected. You can either access its function using the main menu, or using the right-click context menu.

In order to enable the “docked window” feature of the EA navigator check the optionExtensions|Add-In Windows

The Navigator window will now show up somewhere in your application




Toolbar Actions


The toolbar on top of he docked contains the following actions, from left to right:

Select in Project Browser


This option will select the selected element in the EA Navigator window in Enterprise Architect’s project browser. (similar to Alt-G from a diagram)

Open Properties


Opens the properties dialog for the selected element

Add to Diagram


The add to diagram button will add the selected element in the EA Navigator tree to the currently opened diagram.

The element will be added to the top left corner of the diagram.

Navigate to Fully Qualified Name


Selects the element that matches the node path (FQN) in the clipboard. If there is no valid FQN string in the clipboard the EA Navigator will show a dialog asking for the FQN.

Select Element from GUID


Each item, elements, attributes, operations, diagrams, etc… has a unique id in the form of a GUID (example: {C06EF618-D57C-4f63-BF64-F5A5265694AE}).

Pressing the Navigate to GUID button will allow you to go to that element using it’s GUID. If there’s already a GUID in your windows clipboard then the EA Navigator will use that one. If not the EA navigator will show a dialog where you can past (or type) the GUID.

For elements shown in the project browser you can easily copy the GUID to your clipboard using the context menu Copy Reference|Copy Node GUID to Clipboard




Opens the options dialog allowing you to tune the EA Navigators behavior to your liking.


All options are stored in the users profile, so different users on the same machine can have different options



Opens the About dialog

About dialog



Start typing in the Quicksearch box and you will get a list of all things in the model who’s name start with whatever you have typed.

Hovering an item in the dropdown list will show you it’s fully qualified name in the tooltip.


Selecting an item will select it in the EA Navigator tree.

The Quicksearch also comes with a whole bunch of options, you can choose which types of items to search for, and with the Actions you can choose what to do when an item from the Quicksearch is selected.

Navigation options

Below you find all navigation options grouped by the element(s) they are available on


  • Owner
    Selects the owner of the selected element

 All Except diagrams

  • … Tags
    Shows the elements referenced by the owned “RefGUID” style tagged values.

    These tagged values translate to the following options in the EA Navigator window

  • Referencing Tagged Values
    Navigates to the opposite direction of the … Tags. Shows all RefGUID style tagged values that reference the selected element
  • Link to Element Feature
    EA has the possibility to define links between features of an element such as Attributes or Operations using the Connect to Element Feature feature, which is very useful in a lot of situations.Visually EA shows which feature is linked using brackets next to the connected Attribute or Operation.



    The is all nice and dandy, but the downside of the story is that you can only see which features are linked by looking at the diagram.

    Now with the EA Navigator you can simply navigate from one feature to the other



  • Diagrams
    Shows all sequence diagrams that contain a message calling this operation or contain an Action that calls this operation.
  • Parameter Types
    Shows all types of the parameters of this operation.
  • Calling Actions (not for messages)
    Shows the CallOperationActions calling this operation
  • Implementation
    Shows the diagrams owned by the behavior of this operation.

Message (in sequence diagram)

  • Operation
    Select the called operation in the project browser.
  • Diagrams
    Shows the sequence diagrams for the called operation?
  • Parameter Types
    Shows the parameter types for the called operation
  • Implementation
    Selects the Behavior element for the called operation in the project browser and opens all diagrams owned by this Behavior.


  • Dependent Attributes
    Shows all attributes that use the selected classifier as type
  • Dependent Parameters
    Shows all parameters that use the selected classifier as type


  • Type
    Shows the type of the attribute.

Sequence Diagram

  • Operations
    avigate to all operations called on the diagram.

Open Diagrams dialog

When the function Diagrams is selected the Open Diagram dialog will open

From this dialog you can select the diagrams you wish to view and click the Open button to open the selected diagram in EA.

You can also double-click on a single diagram, which will also open the diagram.

Select Elements dialog

The Select Elements dialog will be shown if a list any other type of elements need to be shown.

Clicking the Select button, or double-clicking an element in the list will select that element in the project browser.
Elements that are grayed-out are non-selectable elements such as primitives.

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Read 13123 times Last modified on Sunday, 07 December 2014 21:33
Geert Bellekens

Geert Bellekens

Bellekens IT (Consultant)

Bellekens IT was founded in 2004 by Geert Bellekens and has a strong focus on UML, modelling and analysis methodology.

Geert Bellekens has helped several of the larger Belgian organizations to define and document their modelling method, train and coach the modelers and develop supporting tools.

Geert Bellekens is an acknowledged Enterprise Architect expert and has written numerous add-ins for Enterprise Architect, including the free open source EA Navigator and EA-Matic.

He is also one of the founding members and a regular speaker on the EA User Group events.
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