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UX power in Eclipse Sirius 5.0

Cédric Brun
© Shutterstock / Sadovski

Based on a viewpoint approach, Eclipse Sirius is the easiest way to create your own modeling tool. In this article, Cédric Brun explains how Sirius 5.0.0 version brings a significant number of new features to create impressive graphical modeling tools for Eclipse.

Eclipse Sirius

Eclipse Sirius is the easiest way to create your own modeling tool. It dramatically reduces the time when creating domain-specific modeling workbenches by leveraging the Eclipse Modeling technologies, including EMF and GMF. Based on a viewpoint approach, Sirius makes it possible to equip teams who have to deal with complex architectures on specific domains.

Sirius 5.0.0 version is available in the Eclipse Oxygen release with a significant number of new features to create impressive graphical modeling tools. The Obeo team works hard to keep improving the experience for end-users of Sirius-based modelers. Since the Sirius 4.0.0 version, released with Eclipse Neon, 260 Bugzilla issues have been closed!

Eclipse Sirius

Source giphy

Since version 4.0, Sirius provides an integrated way to specify custom properties views like the other parts of the modeler are defined. Without writing any code it is possible to implement rich and dynamic views with elaborate styling and validation rules.

Eclipse Sirius

Sirius 5.0.0 brings two main improvements to this feature.


Let’s start with the dialogs. Without writing a single line of code, you can define dialogs by directly reusing properties view. Dialogs can be opened from your Sirius tools to help users configure model elements, this can be done during the creation for example. Enjoy a smooth work process with a better user experience!


Properties view

We also simplified the properties view definition by providing a new extension mechanism. Thanks to this, the dialogs and properties views are able to share some common parts of their definition by using composition and extension mechanisms to keep a consistent look and feel.

By simplifying your specifications, your tools maintainability is enhanced and you can better keep a consistent user experience with the same look and feel across your different properties views.

Improve first-time experience

You can now improve the discoverability of your Sirius projects with the brand new *.aird editor which lts you manipulate all the concepts of your modeling projects with its semantic models, its usable viewpoints, and all its representations in one common place. The new editor also includes a wizard to create any kind of EMF model to easily kickstart your modeling projects.

Eclipse Sirius

And more…

Of course, there are many other features, performance improvements, etc. For instance, on diagrams, the decorator mechanism has been improved to manage the layout of decorators. Before Sirius 5.0.0, you could put decorators on boxes or images, but only in a few restricted areas (corners or borders middle) and there was always the possibility to overlay decorators accidentally, which could be inconvenient.

Eclipse SiriusIn this new version, you can put several decorators in the same area: Sirius automatically manages their layout to avoid overlap. Again no code writing is needed, you just need to define how you want your decorators to be organized around the image.

Eclipse Sirius

One other useful new feature is the improvement of the image resolution of exported diagrams. Before Sirius 5.0.0, the resolution was sometimes too low to give a proper final and professional look to an end user document. This isn’t what you want when you’re presenting something to your stakeholders. That time is now over with the Sirius higher resolution update!

What’s Next?

Coming in a future version of Sirius is a new dashboard view based on the Activity Explorer. This will help you guide your end users.

Eclipse Sirius

Want to learn more?

Want to get more information on all these new Sirius 5.0.0 features?

➡ Download Sirius to make your own modeling tool, and get involved in the growing Sirius community.

Feel free to join the community on the Sirius forum: 1118 messages from 330-different authors have been posted since June 2016!

And if you want to meet the community members face-to-face (committers, experts, industrial users, researchers, …) don’t miss SiriusCon, the free annual conference that will be held in Paris, the 9th of November.

In the meanwhile, if you missed the Eclipse Sirius 5.0.0 ‘All about UX’ webinar as part of the Eclipse Oxygen MeetUp Series, you can watch the video here.

Eclipse Sirius



This post is an update of an article originally published in the June 2017 issue of the Eclipse Newsletter: Eclipse Oxygen — A Breath of Fresh Air 

For more information and articles check out the Eclipse Newsletter.


Cédric Brun

CTO @ Obeo building modeling products on Eclipse and in Eclipse. Living and breathing Open-Source for the last 10 years, conference speaker. Follow him on Twitter @bruncedric.

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