Understanding the terminology

The terminology of Elements

Before you start drawing diagrams, collaborating with people or connecting Salesforce Orgs you need to understand a few simple principles underpinning the platform. You might have used other tools in the past but Elements works in slightly different ways, which is why it is so powerful.


⚠ Action: Watch the 7-minute video to get the basics. Alternatively, you can read through the definitions provided below



The terminology of Elements

You need to understand the basics of the Elements architecture and how user permissions work. Here are the key definitions:


This is the work environment for you and your team. Any content you create is in a Space. You can manage access, visibility and edit rights for all content types (process map, user stories, requirements, feedback, Salesforce orgs model, ref models, releases) within the Space. You normally would only have 1 Space per company as it would contain all the content that describes how your business operates and how it changes. If you are a consultant you will have a corporate Space and a separate Space per client.

User permissions

You set user permissions both at the Space level and for individual content types within a Space like maps or org models.

Permission on Spaces

  • Viewer: This is the basic permission within a Space. A viewer can only access content types within a Space and comment on items but cannot edit, create or add any documentation.  But they need to be given access to that content type.
  • Editor: This permission requires a license. For each editor, you need to specify what access levels they get:
    • Space administrator: This is the highest permission on a Space. Space admins can create other Space Admins and set access levels.
    • Requirement manager: Can create, edit and manage business requirements, user stories and end user feedback.
    • Release manager: Can create, edit and manage scope of releases.
    • Resource manager: Can create, modify and remove resources used in user stories, process diagrams
    • Data table manager: Can create and modify custom data forms.
    • URL Library manager: Can manage the list of reusable URL links available throughout the system

Permissions on maps, org models and reference models

  • Viewer: Can access, view and collaborate on content. You can control view access at a Space level – all users (Viewers and Editors) – or at an individual level
  • Editor: Can access, edit and collaborate on content. To be an Editor of content the user needs to be an Editor on the Space.
  • Manager: A Manager can give access to content to other users, and also can customize settings. To be a Manager of content the user needs to be an Editor on the Space.
  • Owner: The same rights as the Manager but can also change permissions for other Managers.

Hierarchical process mapping

Elements was built to support Universal Process Notation process mapping notation. This is a hierarchical process mapping approach. The diagrams are not stand-alone, but are managed in a structure. Any activity box can have children diagrams which then also have children diagrams and so on. This allows you to capture processes at each level of abstraction that are usable, simple and not too complex to understand.

  • Map: Collection of process diagrams. The top level diagram is Level 1
  • Diagram: Diagram with activity boxes, images, free text, sticky notes and lines
  • Attachment: Links to notes, URL links, images and data tables
  • Changes: Links to user stories and requirements

Org Models, Implementations and Ref Models

  • Org Models:  An Org Model is a tree-like structure of the metadata structure of your Org. It is created when you with your Salesforce Org (Production or Sandbox). You can connect multiple Orgs to your Space and hence have multiple Org Models.
  • Implementations: An Implementation is group of Org models  – an Production Org and its related Sandboxes. If you want to connect to 2 different Production Orgs or 2 Sandbox Orgs that belong to different Production Orgs, you need 2 different implementations.
  • Ref Models: Tree-like structure that represents any data – other apps e.g. Workday, ServiceNow or Netsuite – or reference data e.g.  ISO9000 clauses or GDPR clauses.  You can maintain a Ref Model via a CSV import or manually.

Releases and Changes

  • Releases: Diagrams, business requirements and user stories can be added to a Release. When releases are published the diagrams are published and the status of the business requirements and user stories are updated
  • Changes: A collective name for business requirements, user stories and end-user feedback.

Corporate management

Corporate management allows management, policies and user visibility across all Spaces in a corporate domain. You can assign any number of Corporate Admins.  Corporate Admins do not need to have a paid Editor license.