Association Properties

Last update: Download PDF Edit

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.

In Mendix Studio, associations have the following properties:

In relation to the module the associations can be of two types:

2 Name

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

3 Multiplicity

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

Multiplicity can be of the following types:

  • One-to-one – one X object is associated with one Y object
  • one-to-many – one X object is associated with multiple Y object
  • Many-to-many – multiple X objects are associated with multiple Y objects

Multiplicity shows the owner and the direction of association if the association is of the one-to-many or many-to-many type. In the domain model it is displayed as an arrow pointing the direction. The owner is the entity the association starts from, so it is located at the start of the arrow. In one-to-one associations both entities are owners.

You can swap the direction of the multiplicity if its type is one-to-many or many-to-many. In this case you will change the owner of association.

4 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
Keep {name of entity} object(s) When an object is deleted, the associated object(s) are not deleted.
Delete {name of 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).

For examples of delete behavior configuring, see section 7 Delete Behavior in How to Create a Basic Data Layer in the Mendix Studio Pro How-to’s.

5 Cross-Module Associations

Cross-module association makes an association between entities of different modules.

In Studio, cross-module association is indicated with the following:

  • An icon next to the entity that has such association:

  • A pop-up window, which displays when you click the icon:

Cross module associations have the following properties:

Property Description
Type Defines the direction of the association and can be of two types: Outgoing and Incoming
Name Defines the name of the association
Multiplicity Defines the type of multiplicity
Target Defines the module (name before the dot) and second entity of the association (goes after the dot).

6 Read More