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3.1 Environment management tools
3.2 Browsers and Graph Manager
3.3 Generic tools
3.4 Changes & Versions Tool
3.5 Version control integration

3 Environment and information management tools

This chapter provides an introduction to the main environment and information management components of MetaEdit+. Here we describe the functionality and capabilities of the Startup and Main Launcher, the Browsers, Graph Manager, Property dialogs and the Info Tool. The various editors are covered in Chapter 4 and generators, import/export and API tools and command line parameters in Chapter 5.

There are four main categories of tools in MetaEdit+:
1)Environment and information management tools include two Launchers for managing the environment and other tools, browsers and the Graph Manager for browsing information stored in the Object Repository, property dialogs for viewing and editing information about single design elements, Info Tools for viewing linkages between graphs, reuse of designs, and locking information (in the multi-user version), and the Changes & Versions Tool for viewing and documenting changes and making versions.
2)Editors, which are tools for viewing, editing and managing design data. MetaEdit+ includes a Diagram Editor, Matrix Editor, and Table Editor.
3)Generators and integration tools, including generator for transforming repository data to various output formats, tools for importing and exporting language definitions and design data between repositories, API tool and command line operations. Information about Generator Editor and more advanced topics on XML import/export and API tool can be found in ‘MetaEdit+ Workbench User’s Guide’.
4)Language development tools, which form the metamodeling part of the environment allowing users to modify the environment. These development tools are described in a separate manual: ‘MetaEdit+ Workbench User’s Guide’.

In this chapter we look first in Section 3.1 at the tools you see first: the Launchers, and the Options Tool with which you set various environment and system preferences. Then in Section 3.2 we examine the four Browsers, which give an overview of the repository, and the Graph Manager, which exports graphs into files. In Section 3.3 we look at two classes of tool that are generic and used throughout MetaEdit+: the Property dialogs, where the details of individual design elements can be viewed, reused and edited; and the Info Tools, which show how a given design element is used by and linked to other design elements. In Section 3.4 we look at the Changes & Version Tool for creating and comparing versions within MetaEdit+, and in Section 3.5 at how MetaEdit+ integrates with external Version Control Systems.

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