1. Portal Tour

This chapter provides some basic information to help new users understand how to navigate around in the Polarion ALM user interface and introduces the various feature topics accessed via Navigation.

Navigation and Content

When you first log in, if the product you are using is not yet licensed for production, the login screen offers the option of running with a built-in evaluation license, or activating the installation online or offline. After a license is in place, you enter the portal and can begin navigating around to different areas.

The Navigation panel occupies the left side of the Polarion portal page. By default it displays the Topics view which shows the topics available to you under the product license you are using. Topics provide access to various feature and content areas, and to Shortcuts, which quickly retrieve sets of Work Items together with their context. Some Navigation topics expand and have sub-topics that either narrow the scope of the information shown, or provide access to additional functionality.

You can easily hide the Navigation panel using the icon in the upper right corner of the panel. When the panel is hidden, you can restore it by clicking the left border of the page (see figure below).

The Navigation topics are specific to the information scope in which you are working, (repository, project group, or project). The topics shown may also vary according to the interface view you have selected. (Interface views are customizable by an administrator.) In Administration, only administration and configuration topics are shown. Only users with administrator permission can access Administration.

You can create Favorite Shortcuts in the Navigation panel that take you quickly into the key things you need to access in the project... Documents, wiki pages, reports, etc. For more information see Personalizing Navigation.

Figure 1.1. Navigation Panel Sections

Navigation Panel Sections

Sections of the Navigation panel and New Shortcut dialog

The Navigation panel has 2 views: Topics and Tools. The Topics view is shown by default. The Tools view of Navigation provides access to some things that are usually needed only occasionally. The following figure shows how to switch the views:

Figure 1.2. Switching the Navigation View

Switching the Navigation View

Switch to the Tool view of Navigation

The Tools view provides access to:

  • Logout link: Logs you out of the Polarion portal.

  • My Account link: Click to access your user profile where you can change your password and edit other details.

  • Manage Shortcuts link: leads to a dialog in which you can manage your shortcuts, including Favorites, and optionally reset your Favorites and other user-specific shortcuts to the original default configuration.

  • Administration link: Appears only if you have administration rights for the current project or the repository. Takes you into the administration interface where features such as user management, portal configuration, etc. are available.

  • Help link: Launches the online help system in a new browser instance.

  • Views menu: Enables you to select the interface view and the data rendering mode you want to work with.

    Interface views support different work contexts (Developer, Manager, etc.), getting less needed information out of the way.

    The level of detail displayed on a Work Item can be toggled using the button on the Work Item toolbar.

    Figure 1.3. Show More or Less Detail

    Show More or Less Detail

    Which fields are displayed or hidden can be defined by an administrator in the "Form Filters" section of "Form Configuration".

    In this menu you can select one of 2 data rendering modes: Normal or Compact. The Compact mode reduces the amount of "white space" around the data displayed in the user interface, particularly in the vertical dimension. The more compact rendering can be helpful on smaller screens.

The lower portion of the panel provides information about the Polarion system, such as license type and build number. Also provided are links that enable you to send feedback to the development team, contact technical support, and visit the extensions portal.

The rest of the portal page is the area where you work with the various Polarion features. Pages here deliver the content and features of the Navigation topics: Documents, Wiki pages, dashboards, builds, etc. What displays in this pane depends of a number of factors, including current information scope, currently selected Shortcut or current Work Item query, and whether your are working in Administration.

Navigation Topics Overview

This section briefly introduces the various topics available when working in projects. Not all topics are available with every product license. Where availability is limited some specific license(s), this is noted in the following sections. Note that even if the product license makes a topic available, it may be hidden in the interface view you are using. If you miss a topic you think your license should provide, try switching to another interface view (click the gear icon in Navigation and click View).

Home Topic and Home Pages

The Home topic of every project, project group and Repository displays a special "Home" page. Some default content is provided in these Home pages, but it is expected that users will modify all Home pages to provide whatever information is relevant and useful for team members and stakeholders working in the respective scope. The default Home page content varies depending on the scope you are currently viewing: Repository, project group, or project.

Topic Home pages are implemented as LiveReport type Pages, which utilize visually configurable Widgets to retrieve and present data from activity in the portal and projects. Before modifying a Home page, you should review the User Guide topic Working With Pages.

Note

Topic home pages created and modified using a Polarion version prior to version 2016 SR1 exist as Classic Wiki pages. This technology, which requires use of mark-up language and code, has been replaced by Pages with visually configurable Widgets. Home pages implemented in Classic Wiki still work, but conversion to the newer format is recommended. You can convert existing Classic Wiki pages by clicking Expand Tools > Operations > Switch To LiveReport Page. Note that the converted page is created with default content, with the Classic Wiki source at hand for reference for queries, macros, etc. Some work on the converted page is needed to re-implement the content. After the first save of any modification, you can revert the content back to the post-conversion default using Operations > Reset.

Dashboard

Scope(s): Repository, project group, project

The Dashboard topic provides charts, reports and metrics that show the status the current project, or of all the projects in a project group or in the entire Repository (depending on which information scope you are currently working in). Dashboard information is rolled up from repository data generated and automatically tracked in real time as teams work on projects, completing Work Items, creating new ones, adjusting project plans, etc.

Dashboards eliminate guesswork about the status of projects and show the state as of the last time the information was updated. Managers can decide on how often the status information should be updated, and administrators can create scheduled jobs to update dashboards at times when the impact on the system will be minimal for users (at night, for example). If necessary, dashboards can be updated explicitly on demand to show the state of a project or projects right up to the minute.

For more information, see User Guide: Dashboards Topic.

Work Items

The Work Items topic provides access to the integrated tracker. The topic is available for Repository, project group, and project scopes. This topic provides access to all the Work Items in the selected scope. You can select different views of these Work Items using the view selector control on the toolbar of the Work Items page.

The following figure shows the selector control with all the possible Work Item views. Depending on the license you are using, not all these views may be shown on the menu.

Figure 1.4. Work Item Views

Work Item Views

Selecting a Work Item view in the Work Items topic

For an overview of the main features, see User Guide: Work Items Topic: Managing Polarion Work Items: Work Items Topic Overview.

Test Runs

This topic provides access to Test Runs. Test Runs encapsulate a set of Test Cases and record an instance of execution of the Test Cases along with its status. Test Runs are created for both manual and automated tests. All users with read permission can browse Test Runs. Users with create permissions and using the appropriate product license can create new Test Runs. Users using appropriate product licenses can execute Test Runs for manual tests.

This topic also provides access to Test Run templates, and to Round-trip for Microsoft Excel. Test Run templates store information about the Test Cases to be executed, the tested build, testing environment, and other information. Excel Round-trip enables exporting a Test Run's Test Cases to Excel for sharing with external testers, and re-import of testing results logged by external testers in Excel into the Test Run.

For more information, see these Help topics:

Documents and Pages

This topic provides access to the Documents and Pages for the current repository or project. In the Repository scope, it's a good place to create content that all portal users might need to access. For projects, the information can be relevant only for the project team and stakeholders.

When you expand the Documents and Pages topic in Navigation, you see a listing of the spaces, Documents, Pages, and Classic Wiki pages in the current scope, unless there are too many to display comfortably. In that case, you see a prompt to use the search field that appears at the top of the Navigation panel. Enter a word or phrase you want to locate, and select the content type. Filter results appear incrementally as you type.

Documents

Documents provide an easy, familiar way to author, collaborate on, and share content online. Documents can contain Work Items which can be managed throughout a process as artifacts using all available tools, while remaining in an easy-to-use online Document.

For information see User Guide: Working With Documents.

Pages

Pages differ from Documents in that they do not contain Work Items (requirements, test cases, etc.) However, Pages can show information about Work Items.

For information, see User Guide: Working With Pages.

Plans

This topic provides release management tools and enables access to the release plans in the current project, or the entire repository. Plans enable teams to define iterations and releases, set their start and end dates, plan which Work Items will be implemented in each one, and monitor progress in near real-time via built-in charts.

Plans provide visibility on status and progress for all stakeholders, and can reveal potential risks and blocks so that managers can make adjustments to the work scope, delivery date, resources, etc.

(See the Plans Topic in the User Guide section for more information.)

Baselines

Scope(s): project

The Baselines topic enables you to see and compare existing project baselines, and to create new baselines. Baselines are basically snapshots of the status of a project some point in time. By creating baselines periodically and comparing them, it is possible to gauge the progress of a project over time. The Time Machine feature of Baselines enables you to load a project baseline and browse it just as if it were the current state.

For more information, see User Guide: Baselines Topic.

Builds

Availability in Polarion Requirements

This feature is also available in Polarion Requirements, but it is hidden in the default configuration. The topic can be shown in Navigation by changing the Navigation topics configuration. For more information, see Administrator's Guide: Configuring Interface Views.

Scope(s): Project

The Builds topic enables you to access the current and recent builds of any project. You can find information about the build job(s), create a new build, and access the build results.

For more information, see User Guide: Builds Topic. For information about build management with Polarion, see Administrator's Guide: Basic Build Management and Advanced Build Management.

Quality

Scope(s): Repository, project group, project

The Quality topic centralizes the live dashboards that report metrics related to software quality. The topic has the following sub-topics:

  • Process: Provides a dashboard reporting on levels of compliance with a development process.

  • Work Items: Provides a dashboard reporting various metrics and statistics about Work Items in the information scope you are working with.

  • Testing: Provides a dashboard reporting on levels of code coverage by unit tests, success ratio of tests, and enables drill-down into more detailed reports.

  • CMMI: Provides a dashboard reporting on levels of compliance with the CMMI maturity model. Report covers the information scope you are working with, so you can judge compliance project by project or for all projects in aggregate.

For more information see User Guide: Quality Topic, and User Guide: Polarion for Quality Assurance.

Reports

Availability in Polarion Requirements

This feature is also available in Polarion Requirements, but it is hidden in the default configuration. The topic can be shown in Navigation by changing the Navigation topics configuration. For more information, see Administrator's Guide: Configuring Interface Views.

The Reports topic provides access to several reports related to project source code, including unit tests, test coverage, and Javadoc (for Java projects), and also provides read access to source code files. You can explicitly launch report calculation from this topic as well.

For more information see:

Monitor

The Monitor topic provides access to information about current and scheduled jobs and, for users with permissions, the possibility to create and launch jobs. Jobs are background processes run on the server - updating the Live Plan or a dashboard for example.

For information on working with the monitor see User Guide: Monitor Topic

Repository Browser

The Repository Browser topic provides access to an integrated Subversion client. This client enables you browse the content of the Subversion repository that is installed and used with Polarion ALM by default. You cannot use this client with any external Subversion repository configured in the Repositories topic of Administration, or with any other version control system that may be custom implemented as the default Polarion repository.

If your system is configured with multiple Polarion instances, the Repository Browser accesses the default Subversion repository on the server you are currently using. In addition to browsing the repository, the Repository Browser can perform limited basic repository operations such as adding files, managing folders, and committing changed files. However, bear in mind that this tool is not designed take the place of a full-featured Subversion client.

For more information, see User Guide: Repository Browser Topic.

Shortcuts Topics

The Navigation panel provides three topics providing Shortcuts. Shortcuts are special saved queries which retrieve both data and some presentation of the data. They provide quick access to frequently-needed information in the Polarion portal regardless of where you are working at the moment. The three top-level shortcuts topics are:

  • Global Shortcuts: These shortcuts are available to all portal users. The shortcuts found under this topic must be configured by a global administrator.

  • Project Shortcuts: These shortcuts are available to all users working in a specific project. Each project can have a different set of shortcuts. Project shortcuts can be configured by a project administrator in Administration. Project users with appropriate permissions can create project shortcuts by saving the results of some query as a shortcut and specifying that the shortcut should be saved in the project scope.

  • User Shortcuts: This topic is empty by default. You can create shortcuts for your personal use by saving the results of some query as a shortcut and specifying that it should be saved as a user shortcut. User shortcuts that you create are not visible to other users.

    Don't confuse User shortcuts with Favorites. Favorites are accessible only in the project where you create them, and navigate only to content of that project. User shortcuts can be defined to navigate you to anywhere in the portal from anywhere in the portal.

For more information, see User Guide topics Personalizing Navigation and Searching Work Items.

Searching the Portal

Your Polarion portal may eventually host a large amount of content and finding what you want may necessitate using the portal search facility. Your starting point for content search is the search field in Navigation. Simply type in a word or phrase you want to search for.

You can search in 3 scopes: Navigation content, current project content, and portal content.

Figure 1.5. Content Search

Content Search

Search the portal for any type of content

Navigation Content

When you begin typing a search term, the initial scope is Navigation. For example, if you type the word "Developer" and Navigation contains a wiki page title "Developer Guidelines" and a Document title "Developer Documentation", both these items would be found and displayed as clickable labels in the Navigation panel. Essentially you are filtering Navigation for the search term.

You can restrict the Navigation search results to a specific content type:

  • Search Work Items

  • Search Documents

  • Search Wiki Pages

  • Search Test Runs

  • Search Attachments (attached to anything)

This can be useful if your search term returns many items. Clicking on one of these content types shown in Navigation when search is active limits the results to the selected content type. Following the example above, if you type the word "Iterations" and click "Wiki", only the pages shown above in the Wiki section of the search results page would be shown in the results.

Project Content

When you are working in a project, you can enter a search term in the Search field and press Enter (or Return) to search the project content. The search results are displayed in a results page, which is divided into sections for different types of content: Work Items, Documents, etc.

The Search Results page has links that will filter for specific content types or change the sort order of the results. All individual results displayed are links that take you to the respective content.

Portal Content

There are several ways you can search the entire portal:

  • Open the Repository, enter a search term in Navigation, and press Enter (or Return).

  • When working in a project, enter a search term in Navigation, hold down Shift and press Enter (or Return).

  • In the Search Results page of a project-scope search, click the Everywhere label to search the entire portal for the term used in the project-scope search.

TIP

If you switch from a project to the repository or vice versa, the scope of the search for the current string changes according to where you are but your search string remains in effect until you change it.

If you search for Attachments, the search results show the parent object (Work Item, Document, etc.) that contains each found attachment, and your can download found attachments from the search results.