How to Create a Diagram Using Drag and Drop

Published by on July 1, 2015 at 10:00 am.

How to Series Part 1: Beginner Innoslate

Now that you know how to create a database and fill it with data, you may want to start building some diagrams. In many tools, you have to build the diagrams and create the relationships as you go. Innoslate has adapted a drag and drop feature within all diagrams to make building diagrams easier, faster, and more efficient.

Let’s create an action diagram to start. All other diagrams work in the same manner, so this will cover any other diagram within Innoslate.

Of course, we need to have Action entities to create the action diagram, so I have started that for you.

Action Diagram

This will be the basic diagram that I will refer to here. We already have 2 actions identified but we need to add more. The constructs are listed on the left hand side. These are listed as “New” constructs and will create new actions in the database if they are created on the diagram.

Drag and Drop

In this picture, I have grabbed a new action and brought it to the diagram. In order to drop it, the tool lets me know when the new action is in good position (left).

As shown above, the connecting line will turn green which is a unique indicator that you can drop the entity onto the diagram. So let go of the mouse button and it should drop directly onto the diagram.  Once the entity is dropped into the diagram, an entity has been created in the database and the attributes can be edited on the sidebar. No need to go to entity view.

Let us assume that we are moving along in dragging and dropping and we get to a spot in which we need to remove a construct from the diagram. Most tools make this difficult and it can seem like you have to rewrite War and Peace to fix the issue. Strategically, Innoslate has a “Remove” button.

RemoveSelecting the entity that you want to remove will change the tool bar to show the “Remove” button. Selecting the remove button will remove the entity from the diagram.

This does not remove it from the database. The reason it does not remove it from the database is that if you were to use an existing entity to drag and drop into the diagram and then want to remove it, you don’t lose the entity in the database and have to worry about it later.  It will still be available for later use.  Entities can be removed from the database by selecting the arrow next to “Remove” and selecting “Delete from Database.”

Action Diagram2


The diagram above is an action diagram that can use existing entities from the database to add to the diagram via drag and drop. As you can see on the left, the “Existing” tab is selected. This will show all the entities in the database, but for the action diagram, only the action entities will show as an active construct to be dropped into the diagram. From here the same process applies. Drag the existing entity and drop it on the diagram, as long as the line turns green and you see a green plus sign, the entity will drop successfully.

The Diagram view is very practical in terms of creating diagrams without having to create the entire database first. If you want to draw the model first, then go right ahead. Without switching from the view you can edit attributes, remove unwanted constructs and rebuild the ones you want without deleting the entire diagram. Every diagram was built to be efficient and easy to use. Drag and Drop diagrams are just the start to building functional diagrams and relationships.