Are there plans to have abstract Element Templates in AF?
Do any others in the community come across the need for abstract templates? Something more than Templates + Reference Types...
Please describe what your vision of an "abstract template" is. I have one and I wonder how it fits with yours :-).
Hey Steve. An Element Template that you cannot derive an Element from, only other Element Templates can be derived. Your Reference Types would not be able to be set against abstract template either, you have to set them against a sub type template.
Would be great if you could also throw in Template cardinality in there too whilst you are at it
Regarding Template cardinality - please provide some details on your use case(s).
One would be data architecture within an application/project. Logical data models are produced where cardinality between entities is defined (e.g. a wet gas compressor has 2..3 stages). If AF is used for asset hierarchy to represent the LDM then you lose the ability to enforce cardinality rules - users have the ability to deviate from the data model, and using security & reference types just doesn't seem a complete solution for this.
Understand it would be difficult (not impossible ) to enforce such rules programatically but it is becoming a necessary evil. Would be an ideal world to automatically build Element Templates for AF directly from the Data Modelling tool of choice...okay somewhat possible now using the xml import I guess.
The same extension is just as applicable to Event Frames.
Cardinality would be difficult to enforce without performance implications or usability issues around enforcing "Minimum" cardinality. Not sure why ReferenceTypes would be disallowed between abstract classes. For example, I could imagine that a reference type between "Tank" and "Valve" is defined, but "Valve" is abstract - and must be a specific type (e.g., Two-Position, Single Feedback, etc.)
If it is your own tools that create and edit your hierarchy, then you could create Extended Properties in the Element Template for supplying the Abstract bit to your programs. Won't help for PSE, PI AF Builder, AFImport or other programs of course. Cardinality would be a bit tougher as there are no Extended Properties in a Reference Type.
FYI, we have had requests for cardinality, as well as stricter Reference Type enforcement, but yours is the first request I recall for abstract templates (other than the previous time you asked :) )
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