Associations & Their Properties

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1 Introduction

An association describes a relation between entities. In the domain model, an association is represented by a line or arrow between two entities.

The value of the association can only be viewed or edited from the object of the entity that is the owner of the association. Either one entity or both entities can be the owner of the association. If one entity is the owner, there is an arrow that points from the owner to the other entity. If both entities are owners, there is a line between the two entities.

The multiplicity (or number of referred objects) of an association is indicated by the number one (1) or a star (*) at either side of the association.

In the example below, the arrow indicates that Order is the owner of the association, and the 1 and * indicate that one customer is associated with many orders:

2 Association Properties

If you double-click an association, its properties are opened.

Association Properties

Associations have the following properties:

2.1 Name

The name of the association is used to refer to it from forms, microflows, etcetera.

2.2 Documentation

You can write notes and documentation on this element in this field.

2.3 Multiplicity

Multiplicity defines the number of possible referred objects. It is indicated by the number one (1) or a star (*) at either side of the association.

Multiplicity can be of the following types:

Multiplicity means is the equivalent of
One-to-one one X object is associated with one Y object an association of type Reference with owner set to Both
One-to-many one X object is associated with multiple Y object an association of type Reference with owner set to Default
Many-to-many multiple X objects are associated with multiple Y objects an association of type Reference set – in this case ownership is set by the Navigability property

For more information about association types, see the Type section in Associations, and for information on ownership, see the Owner section in Associations.

Navigability changes the owner of many-to-many associations. Navigability has the following options:

Navigability means is the equivalent of
X objects refer to Y objects the owner of the association is X an association of type Reference set with owner set to Default
X and Y objects refer to each other both entities are owners an association of type Reference set with owner set to Both

This corresponds to the Owner property for Reference sets as described in the Owner section of Associations.

Despite it’s name, navigability is usually only important when changing associations. Making one object owner of an association does not prevent you reading the association from the non-owner end.

2.5 Delete Behavior

Delete behavior defines what should happen to the associated object when an object is deleted. The following options can be configured for each end of the association.

Value Description
delete {name of entity} object but keep {name of other entity} object(s) When an object is deleted, the associated object(s) are not deleted.
delete {name of entity} object and {name of other entity} object(s) as well When an object is deleted, the associated object(s) are also deleted.
delete {name of entity} object only if it is not associated with {name of other entity} object(s) An object can only be deleted if it is not associated with any other object(s).

Default: delete {name of entity} object but keep {name of other entity} object(s)

This delete behavior is used if you want to delete any associated Profile when a Customer is deleted:

This delete behavior is used if you want to be able to delete a Customer only if it is not associated with any Order:

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