How to Create a Viewpoint

Learn how to create and manage new and existing viewpoints in this step-by-step guide.

Anastasia Titova avatar
Written by Anastasia Titova
Updated over a week ago

Given that you are an admin or writer user with the Create Viewpoints privilege enabled, you can create viewpoints in Ardoq and make them available in Ardoq Discover.

Table of contents

Before You Create a Viewpoint

There are a few factors to consider to successfully create a viewpoint:

  • Verify that you have the Create Viewpoints privilege enabled. If the "Create new" button at the top right corner of the Viewpoint overview page is grayed out, the privilege is not enabled for you.

    • If you are not an admin user yourself, contact one of your admins and request they enable the privilege just for you or on your user role. You can see who is an admin in your organization in Preferences > Organization settings > Show admins.

    • If you are an admin, navigate to Preferences > Manage user roles and tick the Create Viewpoints privilege for the selected role. Alternatively, navigate to Preferences > Manage users and assign the Create Viewpoints privilege for single individual users through the three-dot menu next to each user name > Assign privileges. Learn more about the Create Viewpoints privilege in the section below.

  • Have a clear understanding of:

    • Your users’ requirements: You should know what kind of components and relationships your users need to see, as well as any grouping, heat mapping, and annotation requirements.

    • Your own metamodel: You need a good understanding of your organization's Ardoq metamodel. The best way to do this is to visualize it using the auto-generated metamodel.

    • How viewpoints work: Our article Understanding Viewpoints covers this in detail.

  • Ensure your team members have access to Ardoq Discover and the relevant viewpoints. For users to be able to sign in to Ardoq Discover they must have the Access Discover privilege enabled. For users to consume viewpoint data in Ardoq Discover, you must assign them a permission in the relevant viewpoints. Learn all about granting access to Ardoq Discover and assigning permissions in this KB article.

Now that you understand these critical concepts, you are ready to build your first viewpoint.

How to Create a Viewpoint

Given that you have the Create Viewpoints privilege enabled, you can access the Viewpoint Builder from the:

  • Home page > Create new > Viewpoint

  • Viewpoint menu on the left-side navigation bar > Create new viewpoint

  • Viewpoint menu on the left-side navigation bar > Viewpoint overview page > Create new viewpoint

Step 1. Describe your Viewpoint for a Wide Audience

Try to give the viewpoint a name that helps users understand what information it includes. Your viewpoint’s name and description should help users determine if this viewpoint is the one they need, focusing on the viewpoint’s contents and not how it should be used.

An Example of Name and Description

Naming a viewpoint: Make sure the name is short and conveys the core nature of the topic.

Writing a description: The description should provide an explanation of what questions the viewpoint helps answer and provide context on when the viewpoints can be used. This description should help users identify the appropriate viewpoint to help them view data in their context.

The user can decide how to use the viewpoint based on their own role/task and their understanding of the contents.

Do note that users and roles may access the viewpoint from different directions - more specifically, they may enter the viewpoint from different starting component types.

For example, a viewpoint that shows “Applications Hosting” is meaningful to an application manager. However, to an infrastructure specialist coming in from the server end, it may be helpful to see in the viewpoint’s description “showing the relationship between applications and the servers they are hosted on.” Having both the words “application” and “server” in the description makes it relevant regardless of the user’s perspective.

Step 2. Select Workspaces to Source Your Data From

All component types within the workspaces chosen will be available to build the triples and steps. As the viewpoint is refined, it is possible to come back and add more workspaces and expand out the steps.

Although viewpoints can cross multiple workspaces, you need to specify them for a couple of reasons:

  • To define which component types and reference types (e.g., "Application," "Server") can be used in the viewpoint

  • To define which components and references can be accessed by the viewpoint

It’s important to understand the difference between the first and second points here. While a viewpoint is specified in terms of component and reference types, only instances of those types from designated workspaces will be accessible via the viewpoint.

For example, if you set up a viewpoint showing application integrations, and you have 3 Application workspaces, but one of them contains external applications you don’t want to include. By restricting the viewpoint only to the first two workspaces, you can hide data you don’t want to be accessed by that viewpoint.

You can also click on the "Preview Metamodel" button to visualize the selected workspaces. This will help you create data rules for your model easier (step 4.)

Step 3. Choose a View Style

Use this section to choose a default visualization style that suits the data that is displayed as part of the viewpoint. Unlike in core Ardoq, in Ardoq Discover the administrator determines the most appropriate style for the viewpoints. This improves the user experience by limiting the number of mistakes the user can do.

Choose a View Style

Choose any other view-dependent rules.

Choose a View Style Direction

Step 4. Create Data Rules for Your Model

The viewpoint model tells Ardoq Discover which component types and reference types to include in the viewpoint. It consists of 2 elements:

  • Triples: This element tells Ardoq exactly which component type / reference type combinations to include in the viewpoint. (Similar to type selection or a filter.)

  • Steps: This element tells Ardoq in which sequence to look for triples. (Similar to degrees of separation from your starting component.)

Taken together, triples and steps describe one or more paths through Ardoq’s graph database.

Triples and Steps

Setting Up Entry Points

Entry point defines the order in which steps are executed. You might want to use this feature to reuse the same viewpoint for different roles.

Understanding multidirectional viewpoints is crucial to start using this feature.

Step 5. Apply Filter Rules to Display a Subset of Data

Sometimes, there is information that shouldn't be exposed in Discover, such as confidential information or archived information. You can limit what can be seen in the viewpoint by applying filters.

ardoq add filter rules

Example 1

As an Application Owner I want to know which servers are supporting the applications that are used to realize a specific Business Capability. However, I don’t want information on applications that are “retired” (as defined in the Lifecycle Phase property of the Application component). This is how to build the viewpoint model in two steps:

Step 1:
Business Capability
Is Realized By
Step 2:
Is Supported By

The next step is to filter out the “retired” applications that clutter the viewpoint.

Press “Add filter” to add a filter condition.

Setting up Filter Rule for a Component

Now the viewpoint will exclude any applications that are retired.

Example 2

In the extension of the previous example, the viewpoint should only display SaaS Applications.

Setting up Filter Rule with

Use match “all” feature in the filters and the data will be narrowed to achieve the desired result. The filter rules also support match “any” which allows us to include data sets if any of the rules is met.

Example 3

Another example is filtering properties across component types.

Let’s say your applications may be hosted on on-premise servers or in the cloud. In this case, you may want to allow for both potential paths through your data. You can do this by including a second triple in a step.

Let’s say any of my applications might be hosted on on-premise servers or in the cloud. In this case, I want to allow for both potential paths through my data. I could do this by including a second triple in a step.

Business Capability
Is Realized By
Is Supported By
Runs In
Cloud Service

This completes the viewpoint model. In this model you are able to see applications that are not retired and are hosted in AWS. This data selection is achieved by combining filters across component types.

Step 6. Select Which Fields to Display in Sidebar

Over time, components can collect a lot of fields, and you may not want to expose all of them in your viewpoint. There could be several reasons for this:

  • They are not relevant to the information you want to convey for this viewpoint.

  • They’re technical fields (e.g., used to trigger workflows) that have no wider meaning or purpose.

  • They contain sensitive information you don’t want to be widely available.

The Viewpoint Editor gives you the option to select the fields you want to expose in your viewpoint.

Please note that this is done on a viewpoint-by-viewpoint basis. Selecting or not selecting a field in one viewpoint has no effect on whether or not it is exposed in another viewpoint.

Use "Select which fields to show in the sidebar" to determine which fields will be displayed in the details sidebar. You can choose to select all, or clear the selection and then select individual fields from the drop-down.

ardoq select fields

All fields from all component types included in the viewpoint are selectable. Click in the selection window to see a list of available fields or start typing to see a list of fields with only those characters.

The components in this section are placed in the order selected during the steps of building your data rule model.

The “Add all” button automatically pulls in all fields of this component. This can be helpful if you want all these fields to be displayed in the viewpoint’s sidebar or if you just want to check which fields are available for a specific component type.

The “Clear” feature assigned to each placeholder removes all the fields you selected from the placeholder.

The order in which fields will be displayed on the viewpoint page are the same as the order of the fields in the component placeholder. To change the field order of display, use a drag and drop gesture.

Finally, choose if you would like the fields descriptions to be shown. This is highly recommended, because it helps stakeholders understand what the data means.

Step 7. Group Components

You can add grouping to your viewpoint to nest components within a group. This will often improve readability and add helpful context to the viewpoint.

There’s one important point to bear in mind though, which is different from the core application: If you use group by parent, parent all, or referenced component, the selected types must be included in the viewpoint model.

Step 8. Highlight Key Info With Formatting

You can also add formatting and label formatting to your viewpoint.

Adding conditional formatting is a fast way to create viewpoints that highlight key properties of the visualization that you want your users to focus on - for example, strategy, cost, or risk. Conditional formatting can be defined for any property of a component type included in the viewpoint.

ardoq add conditional formatting

The Conditional formatting rules are shown to the user when they open the legend.

ardoq conditional formatting rules

Similarly, label formatting will annotate your components and references with extra information. This can include their type and key properties you’ve defined for them.

Tip: Combine conditional formatting with label formatting to reinforce the key information you want to convey.

ardoq label formatting

Step 9. Reorder Non-Priority Surveys

Set the order of any applicable surveys by the level of their importance for the audience.

To change the priority survey, go to the Survey builder > Discover, and tick of "Set as priority survey".

When Discover users navigate to the viewpoints page and try to submit or update the information, they’ll see the order of surveys you selected.


Let’s say you are creating a viewpoint called “Application Lifecycle by Capability” that shows a list of capabilities and related application contracts along with the applications in a timeline view, indicating the duration of the contract for each application and the expected review date.

When creating viewpoints, try to anticipate the priority of the user's goals, and re-order surveys to show the most relevant first.

Step 10. Saving and Publishing Your Viewpoints

Now is a good time to save your viewpoint if you haven't done so already. Then, after saving, set the viewpoint to “Live” to make your viewpoint visible to users.

Note: “Unpublished” viewpoints are always visible to Ardoq administrators irrespective of Live status.

Managing your Viewpoints

Saved viewpoints are accessible to Ardoq admins from the Viewpoint Asset Management page. There you can see which viewpoints are currently published and unpublished.

From here you can also edit existing viewpoints and, by clicking on the three-dot control, copy them, delete them or set permissions that will dictate which users and groups can see them.

Learn more about Viewpoint Permissions.

How to Allow Users to Create Viewpoints

In Ardoq, you can use privileges to define feature access and permissions to define asset access.

For instance, you can enable the "Create Viewpoints" privilege to allow users to create viewpoints using the Viewpoint builder. On the other hand, permissions enable you to grant access to a given viewpoint and define the actions your users can perform on that particular viewpoint, such as editing or reading data. Learn more about Viewpoint permissions in the section below.

How to Enable the “Create Viewpoints” Privilege

Given that you are an admin user, you can allow users to create new viewpoints by enabling the “Create Viewpoints” privilege on their user role or individually per user.

How to Enable The “Create Viewpoints” Privilege on a User Role

To allow all users with a specific user role to create viewpoints:

  1. Navigate to Preferences > Organization Settings > Manage User Roles

  2. Select the user role you want to configure

  3. Tick the “Create Viewpoints” checkbox

  4. Click “Save”

Enabling the “Create Viewpoints” privilege on a user role is the easiest way to manage who can create viewpoints in your organization. Once the “Create Viewpoints” privilege is enabled on a user role, it is not possible to disable it on specific users who have that user role. For example, if you enable the “Create Viewpoints” privilege on the Writer user role, all of your existing Writer users, and those you add in the future, will be able to create dashboards. Because the “Create Viewpoints ” privilege is enabled on the Writer user role, you won’t be able to disable the “Create Viewpoints” privilege on single users who have the Writer user role assigned.

How to Enable the “Create Viewpoints” Privilege per Single User

Enable the “Create Viewpoints” privilege individually per user when you need certain people to create new viewpoints and their user role does not allow them to.

To enable the “Create Viewpoints” privilege on single users:

  1. Navigate to Preference > Organization Settings > Manage Users

  2. Look for the user you want to enable the “Create Viewpoints” privilege on

  3. Click on the three-dot menu next to the name of a user and select "Assign privileges"

  4. Select "Create Viewpoints" from the dropdown

  5. Hit "Save"

Viewpoints Permissions: Granting Access to the Right Users

Assign users a permission on a particular viewpoint to determine what actions they can do on that specific viewpoint. It is not necessary to enable the "Create Viewpoints" privilege for admin and writer users to edit a viewpoint as long as they have been granted the "Administrator" or "Writing" permission. The "Create Viewpoints" privilege only allows users to create new viewpoints.

To grant users a permission on a given viewpoint:

  1. Head over to the Home page or Dashboard overview page

  2. Click on the three dot menu next to the name of a viewpoint

  3. Select “Permissions”

  4. Assign a viewpoint permission to all users in your organization from the “All organization members” dropdown and “All contributors” dropdown. Alternatively, grant access to specific users by typing their name or the name of group from the “Add a user or group” dropdown at the top of the modal.

The available permissions for Viewpoints are:

  • Administrator permission: It allows users to read, edit, and delete the dashboard they’ve been added to. They can also update the dashboard permissions for themselves and other users who were granted access.

  • Writing permission: It allows users to read, edit, and delete the dashboard they’ve been added to. They cannot update the dashboard permissions.

  • Explore viewpoint in Discover: It allows users to open a viewpoint in Ardoq Discover.

  • No default access: It prevents users to access a specific dashboard.

The permissions you can grant users depend on their user role:

User Role

Viewpoint Permissions

Org Admins

  • Administrator

  • Writing

  • Explore viewpoint in Discover

  • No default access

Org Writers

  • Administrator

  • Writing

  • Explore viewpoint in Discover

  • No default access

Org Readers

  • Explore viewpoint in Discover

  • No default access


  • Explore viewpoint in Discover

  • No default access

If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to reach out via the in-app chat.

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