What Are References?

Learn how references connect components, and why they are first-class data objects in their own right.

Kristine Marhilevica avatar
Written by Kristine Marhilevica
Updated over a week ago

References are the glue that connects and links components together. For a video edition of this article, check out our video guide to references.

We will go through different ways of creating references below, but the fastest way for doing many reference linkings in one turn is shared at the end of this article.

Tip: Check out the last paragraph in our Formatting article for a tip on type text for references.

Create References Directly in the Navigator Sidebar

By hovering over the source component you want to start the reference from, you will see a "link" icon showing on the right side. Click it once (do not hold it), and drag it to the component you want to target , then click again.

If you need to open a Parent to access child components after you clicked on the source component, just right-click.

Ardoq parent access child components
Ardoq parent

This will open the Reference tab on the right side. You can then choose the right reference and additional information if necessary.

Ardoq reference

You Can Also Create Multiple References At Once in Ardoq

This is how you create multiple references at once:

  1. Bulk select components in the navigator (hold down shift or control/command while clicking).

  2. Click the link icon on one of the selected components.

  3. Select whether the references should be incoming or outgoing.

  4. Edit details for all references.

Ardoq multiple references

Using the Grid Editor To Create References:

As you might be using the Grid Editor to create new components, you can also use this for creating references.

First, open your Grid Editor at the bottom of the page:

Ardoq grid editor

Choose References and adjust window:

Ardoq references

Start creating new references or change existing ones in the Grid Editor by choosing Target components and Source. As with most functions in Ardoq, be aware that what you see and can choose from is context-sensitive. You will only see the components from the workspace you are standing in, and the level of components that you are standing in.

Choose Workspace level for all Parents, and the correct Parent for the underlying children components:

Ardoq grid editor

Using the View Dependency Matrix For Making References

First, choose the View "Dependency Matrix", and open up the Workspace containing your Source Component(s). Then choose the Targets component(s) Workspace. The Target Workspace has to be opened as well.

Ardoq dependency matrix view

Choose the kind of Reference you wish to create by clicking on the "On cell click" and choose between references already created for the Source Workspace. You will now be creating that reference when you click. The component left side will be the Source and the component showing at the top will be the Target.

Ardoq target
Ardow source

If you clicked the wrong field, just right-click and choose Delete Reference.

Ardoq delete reference


Parent-child is not implemented as a reference and it’s derived from hierarchy. Hence they cannot be created across different workspaces.

If you still have questions or need more information, browse our Knowledge Base or reach out to us from our website or using in-app chat.

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