4. Dashboards Topic

Working with the Dashboard topic

Scope(s): Repository, project group, and project.

The Dashboard topic is a key topic for managers and other stakeholders who need to keep an eye on the status of development, from single projects, to divisions or departments, on up through the enterprise. The topic provides dashboards in several information scopes that roll up actual progress data maintained in the repository as people begin and complete tasks, presenting it in charts, graphs, and other meaningful ways that help people understand the true status of development.

The information in the various dashboards and dashboard components can be as current as you need it to be. Updating the dashboards is generally done with a scheduled job on the server configured to run when the extra system resources needed for the recalculations will not have any significant impact on users of the Polarion portal. For example, the update job could be scheduled to run at night, and weekly, nightly, or whatever interval provides enough currency for your needs. It is possible to update most dashboard components explicitly to get up-to-the-minute information in real-time.

Repository and Project Group Dashboards

In the Repository or project group scope, the Dashboard topic provides several charts with key pieces of information about the status of all projects being managed with Polarion (Repository scope), or in the currently viewed project group. The default information is as follows:

  • Work Items Trend: a chart showing the trend of unresolved Work Items over time. If you see sharp deviations in the curve, this might signal that something is happening that needs attention. For example, if the trend is sharply up, there may be many new defects being reported. If sharply down, some project(s) may be ahead of schedule and perhaps more features or testing can be planned.

  • Test Coverage: for Maven projects, this chart shows the ratio of lines of code covered by tests vs. the total lines of code in all projects (Repository) or the currently viewed project group.

  • Process Score: This table rolls up some key information from the reports in the Quality topic, and provides links to details in that topic. In the Repository scope, or a top-level project group, links to projects and sub-groups appear enabling drill-down to additional information. For an individual project group, links to the projects in the group appear, again enabling drill-down to that level of detail.

  • Top 5 Projects: a table shows the Maven-2 projects (up to 5) having the highest level of code reuse, and some basic statistics on the levels of reuse.

  • Top 5 Packages: a table shows the most reused Java packages (up to 5), and a count of the number of times each package is reused.

To access the Repository dashboard:

  1. Open the repository (see User Guide: Accessing Projects).

  2. In the Navigation pane, select Dashboard.

To access the project group dashboard:

  1. Open the desired project group (see User Guide: Accessing Projects).

  2. In the Navigation pane, select Dashboard.

Project Dashboard

In the project scope, the Dashboard topic provides information about the currently open project. The following default components appear:

  • Several statistics:

    • Build Frequency

    • Build Success Ratio

    • Test Success Ratio

    • Test Coverage

    • Traceability Work Items to Commits

    • Traceability Commits to Work Items

  • Work Item Trend: same as described for Repository and project group dashboards, except the information is limited to the current project.

  • Test Coverage: same as described for Repository and project group dashboards, except the information is limited to the current project.

  • Live Plan: Basically the same as the top half of the Live Plan view in the Work Items topic: a GANTT style chart of the project plan based on project team members, the Work Items assigned to them (or unassigned), and dates (including Time Points) to which Work Items have been planned.

  • Quality Score Card: Similar to the Process Score component of the Repository and project group dashboard, this table rolls up some key information from the reports in the Quality topic, and provides links to details in that topic. Here, the information scope is the current project.

  • Facts and Figures: This section rolls up some useful metrics from various sources which can reveal even more about what's happening with this project: number of open Work Items according to severity, recent changes, most active developer, etc.

To access the project dashboard:

  1. Open the desired project (see User Guide: Accessing Projects).

  2. In the Navigation pane, select Dashboard.

Editing the Dashboard Topic

The previous sections describe the default composition of the Dashboard topic in a default installation. You should bear in mind, however, that the topic is implemented as a Wiki page, and is modifiable by any user with appropriate permissions in the information scope. So the actual content you see in the topic on your system could be somewhat or even significantly different from the default. The various components could be rearranged, or some could be removed altogether.

Updating the Dashboards

In a default installation, the system configuration contains scheduled jobs that recalculate the information displayed in the dashboards. An administrator can review these in the Scheduler topic of the Administration interface and optionally alter the default cron expressions that control the launching of the jobs.

Most components of the dashboards contain an Update link which will invoke immediate recalculation of the information displayed in the component to provide up-to-the-minute information. For example, to see the very latest information in the Work Items Trend chart, you can click its Update link:

Figure 4.1. Explicit Dashboard Update

Explicit Dashboard Update

Invoking update of Work Items Trend chart

Warning

Recalculating dashboard information places some extra load on the server's resources. The most resource-intensive recalculation is the Live Plan. While Polarion is optimized to update as efficiently as possible, if the scope of the information is very large and the server has a lot of traffic, the update could take some time, and performance could be slowed down somewhat for all users.