The nested layer diagram provides a way to visualize interdependencies starting with business architecture down to infrastructure in one single diagram. Elements of each building block type are visualized on one layer with the possibility to connect up to seven layers. This diagram also allows adding additional layers or flexibly hiding existing ones. By adding new layers, the amount of information shown in the diagram increases and thus shows a better overview of your data.

Adjacent layers contain adjacent building block types (according to the metamodel) or self-related elements such as subordinate or superordinate ones. Attributes can be used instead of building block types to create clusters in a layer. Selecting an attribute as the last layer means in effect that no further layers can be added.

Example use case

If you add accountable persons in the last layer, you will not be able to add any further layers because no elements or attributes can be clustered by the accountable person. 

Configuring of different layers

Start by selecting a building block type or attributes based on the content type. Then, you can configure the connected layers either by relations, self-relations or attributes connected to the selected content type. The diagram will display a diagram with nested boxes in layers.

Customize the different layers by filtering, sorting, coloring.

Switching between layers

To switch between layers, use the shown drop-down menu.

Adding and removing layers

To add new layers or remove existing ones use the types of buttons in the menu, which opens the following configuration window:

For each layer, a building block type or an attribute can be selected.
For the removal of layers, please consider the following:

  • To remove a layer, click on the X next to a selected building block type or attribute.

  • To remove the last layer (if more than two are configured) by clicking the “delete” button.

  • You cannot configure less than two layers, since this is the minimum required to show a nested layer diagram.

  • Removing one layer (e.g., level 3) causes all layers below the one removed to be moved one layer up.

A building block type or attribute must be reselected for those layers since a lower layer always relates to the upper layer.

Additional display options

Hiding layers

To hide one layer, select the correct layer in the drop-down. Then, go to the "display" menu and activate the checkbox “hide layer”. The legend will signal hidden layers.

Related condition

The nested layer diagram provides the flexibility to decide how tight the elements of the displayed layers are connected to each other. 

Let's take the following example: Which information systems are used to process data (=business objects) connected to the sales process?

There are two ways how to visualize this question:

  1. Information systems connected to business objects and independent business objects connected to the sales process.

  2. Information systems connected to business objects, which are at the same time connected to the sales process. In this case, the diagram will most likely show less elements, in any case, those shown would be connected to each other directly. Regarding our metamodel, the elements will be shown only if there is a corresponding business mapping between information system - business object - sales-process. To enforce this behavior, please activate the following option:

Select the starting point and save the settings

This feature is applied to all layers.

Show orphaned elements

Orphaned elements are those which do not have any relation to elements within any adjacent layer. Using this option allows for example the following:

For which business processes has no data been documented yet?

Please select the following option:

This feature is applied to all layers.

Show all occurrences

All occurrences of a certain element can be highlighted:

  1. Select one element

  2. Activate the corresponding checkbox in the display menu

This menu is context-sensitive; therefore you will see this option only after you have selected one element.

The highlighting of all occurrences is as follows:

The nested layer diagram only visualizes a complete nesting. If, due to a partial limit, only a partial nesting could be displayed, it will be omitted entirely from display.