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Structural attachment associations

With structural attachment associations, you can quickly find which parts of domain networks are connected to the structure network.

A switch structurally attached to a pole

The illustration above shows how an electric switch is structurally attached to a pole.

About structural attachments

Often, a utility needs to report what structural features, such as poles, are associated with a subnetwork, or it needs to locate a manhole where a piece of critical device can be reached. Structures are not part of the network for purposes of tracing the resource, but there is a need to quickly identify and list structures that are attached to devices. Structural attachments are a logical association between device features (or junction features) and structural features in a utility network. These associations allow you to model the relationship between structures that support equipment and associated assets that are attached. For example, a pole can serve as the structure, with a transformer as the attachment. A structure can have many structural attachments (for example, a pole with a transformer, ground, riser, and arrester attached to it). An attachment feature can only be attached to one structure.

A structural attachment is used to attach a point to another point. This type of association is not terminal aware.

Structural attachment and connectivity associations with electricity

As shown in the above image, a connection point junction is used to attach the electrical line to the pole. It is also used to connect the line to the transformer, allowing electricity to flow. Electricity can flow through the line to the transformer because of the connectivity association from the connection point on the line to the transformer. While electricity does not flow through features such as poles, the trace operation can be configured to include structures for workflows such as pole reports.

Structural attachment association configuration

You can define what features support structural attachment associations by assigning the Structure association role. For a feature to be set as a structure, its asset group and asset type must have the Structure association role assigned. Only point feature classes participating in a structure network can be assigned the structure association role. When assigning association roles, Deletion Semantics is configured to control the user experience when working with structural attachment associations. This is used to control what happens to attachment features when the structure is deleted. For example, you can specify that all the attachments need to be removed before you can delete the structure.

To learn more, see Association roles and Deletion Semantics, View Scale, and Split Policy.

Rules are used to control what types of features can attach to a structure. Feature restrictions limit which feature classes can participate in a structural attachment association rule and which two feature classes can make up a rule.

To learn more, see Feature restrictions and rules.

Work with structural attachments

You can define structural attachments from devices, junctions, and assemblies in a domain network to structures in the StructureJunction feature class. You can also define a structural attachment from one StructureJunction feature to another. Point features can be directly attached to other point features (for example, a transformer attached to a pole). Line features, however, must have an intermediate point feature attached to either an endpoint or a midspan vertex.

An example of a structural attachment from a device to a structure junction is a transformer attached on a pole. An example of a structural attachment from an assembly to a structure junction is a switchgear attached on a pad. An example of a structural attachment from a junction feature to a structure junction is a riser on a pole. An example of a structure junction attached to a structure junction is a guy wire attached to a pole.

While resources do not flow to the structure features, structures can be returned via a trace if that option is turned on in the Trace tool.

See Configure a trace for more information about options used in tracing.