Change tracking in xDI Designer

When working on projects in Semarchy xDI Designer, you may want to see how resources such as metadata, mappings, and processes have changed over time. Designer tracks changes to project resources every time you save them. You can compare changes from inside the software directly.

The basic comparison tool shows project file differences in a text-based form. However, Designer also comes with an add-on named Eclipse EMF Compare which enhances the comparison tool, and lets you visualize differences in a user-friendly way. EMF Compare can be enabled from a Project Explorer menu.

This functionality is not meant to replace a full source control strategy. Change comparison in Designer should be used alongside proper source control software such as Git.


As you work on project resources, xDI Designer saves change sets, and displays them in the History tab at the bottom right section of the Designer window.

The current change revision is shown in bold text, at the top of the list by default.

Right-click another revision to open a context menu with multiple options.

Screenshot of change sets with the context menu

Click on Compare Current with Local to open a comparison window. The default comparison tool shows revisions in text form, as they are saved on the filesystem.

To activate EMF Compare and enhance the comparison view, go to the top of the Project Explorer, and click on the overflow menu.

Select Activate EMF Compare.

Screenshot of Project Explorer context menu with EMF compare

New comparison windows now have an enhanced graphical interface to better track changes over time.


This section demonstrates both comparison systems using visual examples.


We start in a sample HTTP Rest project, with one of the example mappings.

Screenshot of xDI Designer with an open project and an open mapping

We make a few changes: datastores are moved around, a new datastore is added, and we map a field. Designer tracks the three times this resource has been saved so far.

Screenshot of an open mapping in xDI Designer

From this setup, it is now possible to compare changes.

Basic comparisons

For a basic comparison with the current mapping, we right-click on one of the change sets that is not in bold.

Screenshot of an open mapping in xDI Designer

We select Compare Current with Local, and the comparison window opens.

Screenshot of a diff tab in xDI Designer

The comparison window shows the recent version on the left, and the older version on the right. It displays the resource as it is saved on the filesystem, in plain text.

Next, we activate EMF Compare.

Comparisons with EMF Compare

We go back to the mapping. From the Project Explorer, we open the overflow menu and activate EMF Compare.

Screenshot of xDI Designer with an open mapping and the Project Explorer context menu open

As before, we go to the mapping, right-click on one of the change sets, and select Compare Current with Local. A new comparison window opens.

Screenshot of a graphical EMF Compare tab in xDI Designer

The comparison window lets us select different resource nodes at the top, and shows side-by-side visual comparisons of that node.

We see that there was a change to a field with a value CUS_LAST_NAME.

We can also navigate to other nodes, and look at the mapping resources in more detail:

Screenshot number 2 of a graphical EMF Compare tab in xDI Designer

The view of mapping nodes shows us that a T_CUSTOMER field was changed in the mapping, which is indeed a major change we made.