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Home » Modeling » EMF » Attribute vs Containment Reference Relationship
Attribute vs Containment Reference Relationship [message #1743205] Tue, 13 September 2016 09:55 Go to next message
Bugra M. Yildiz is currently offline Bugra M. YildizFriend
Messages: 106
Registered: July 2014
Senior Member
I wish to learn what is the practical difference between EAttribute and EReference that is a containment.

Thank you.
Re: Attribute vs Containment Reference Relationship [message #1743208 is a reply to message #1743205] Tue, 13 September 2016 10:10 Go to previous message
Ed Merks is currently offline Ed MerksFriend
Messages: 31900
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Of course they're both EStructuralFeatures. But the type of an EAttribute must be an EDataType and the type of an EReference must be an EClass. In terms of the structure that's produced from the model, instances of EDataTypes are leaf values in the structure; the value cannot be inspected further using EMF reflection. To be EDataType.serializeable, it must be possible to convert the value to a string representation for which it's possible to produce the original value (or one equal to it). Instances of EClasses are necessarily EObjects. EObjects form a graph of interconnected information than can be inspected using EMF reflection (EObject.eGet). EReferences that are containment references induce a tree (recursively EObject.eContents); container references (EObject.eContainer) are the reverse direction of that tree. EReferences that are cross references (not containment and not container) are cross links (EObject.eCrossReferences) between the nodes in the tree.

Ed Merks
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