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Opening an encyclopedia results in 'Ambiguous symbol type name ("...")' warning in Rational System Architect

Technote (troubleshooting)


Attempts to open an encyclopedia result in 'Ambiguous symbol type name ("...")' warnings seen in the property consistency report window in IBM Rational System Architect (SA).


In the property consistency report window you see one or more warning messages similar to the following:

    Warning: File properties in main at line number 13

    Ambiguous symbol type name ("BSC Objective").

    The statement may be applied to another type of symbol than expected.

    Provide an owning diagram type.

Note s:
  • The line number may be different for your error message.
  • The type name in the brackets will be different for you depending on your meta-model.

The warning can occur in either of the following scenarios:
  • After importing a USRPROPS.TXT file.
  • After upgrading an encyclopedia from a previous SA version with a customised USRPROPS.TXT file.


There is already a definition with the same type name of the symbol in the encyclopedia property set files for a definition you are trying to import or upgrade.

Note: SA version 11.4.2 introduced new symbol types in the property set files. Please see the list attached below.

For the above example symbol, the parser needs to be informed which "BSC Objective” symbol is being referred to by the encyclopedia USRPROPS.TXT file. The parser does not know if the symbol is a new symbol belonging to a different diagram, or is it an addition to the existing already defined symbol.

Diagnosing the problem

To determine the diagram type, examine the USRPROPS.TXT and the property set files and search for the type name specified in the warning message.

Resolving the problem

To resolve the warnings, inform the parser which diagram type the symbol is being referred to by modifying the USRPROPS.TXT file in the encyclopedia to use the "in" keyword.

  1. Open the USRPROPS.TXT file in a text editor.

  2. Edit the appropriate line to specify which symbol using the "in" keyword.
    For example:

    SYMBOL "BSC Objective" in "Strategy Map"

    Note: The exact symbol name and diagram type depend on your implementation of the meta-model.

  3. Save the USRPROPS.TXT file.

  4. Import the USRPROPS.TXT file to the encyclopedia.

  5. Re-Open the encyclopedia.

Document information

More support for: Rational System Architect
General Information

Software version: 11.4.2,,

Operating system(s): Windows

Reference #: 1605431

Modified date: 08 February 2013