Ardoq administrators can use the Viewpoint Editor to build new viewpoints and manage existing ones. If Ardoq Discover is enabled in your organization, you can access the Viewpoint Editor via the palette icon in the left-hand navigator.
This will take you to the Viewpoint asset management page, where you can see all current viewpoints. If you have not created any viewpoints yet, this page will be empty.
To create a new viewpoint, click the “Create New” button in the top right of the page.
Before You Create a Viewpoint
The Viewpoint Editor takes you through the steps of building a new viewpoint. However, an Ardoq administrator still needs to understand what they are trying to build so it is essential to understand 3 key things before building a viewpoint:
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 Ardoq’s auto-generated metamodel.
An understanding of Viewpoint principles: Our article Understanding Viewpoints covers this in detail.
Once you’ve understood these 3 things, you can start to build your viewpoint.
How to Build a 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.
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.
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 simplifies the user experience while limiting some of the flexibility.
In Ardoq Discover’s Viewpoint selector menu, the visualization style will be previewed along with the viewpoint’s name and description, helping the user decide if it is relevant for their needs.
Depending on the type of visualization style chosen, the ability to set a default directional orientation of the viewpoint varies. The viewpoint always opens up with the orientation selected however users are able to change the orientation to suit their needs in Discover. Setting a default direction is currently supported for Simple Block Diagram and Dependency Maps.
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.
Step #5. Apply Filter Rules to Display a Subset of Data
Once the viewpoint model is built, the next step is to fine-tune the data. This can be done through applying filters to fields in the component types that have been chosen in the triples.
In this section, there is the ability to add filters per component type to narrow down the data. First choose the component type, then within the component type choose the property that needs to be filtered. You can also add filters to multiple properties within a component type. Use “Add Filter” to keep adding more filters to different component types.
Here is an example of how this can work in practice:
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:
Now we need to filter out the applications that are “retired” since they will clutter up the viewpoint and should be removed in order to make this viewpoint relevant to my goal.
Clicking on “Add Filter” will open up the filter section where the appropriate filters can be inserted. For this example, the filter will be applied to the application component type and on the property “Lifecycle Phase”.
Another extension of this example is the ability to combine filters on different properties of the same Component type.
In the extension of the previous example, the viewpoint should only Display Applications that are not retired and are (Lifecycle Phase Not Equal to Retired) and which are SaaS applications (Hosting Type is Equal to SaaS).
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 one of the conditions have been satisfied.
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.
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. Selecting Fields for Your Viewpoint
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.
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. If you want to change the order of the fields when working in the component, simply use the Drag and Drop feature.
Once you’ve made your field selections you can also choose whether or not to display the description for that field. We recommend that you do, as it helps your stakeholders understand the data you are presenting in the viewpoint.
Field description is defined in core Ardoq when you set up a field in a workspace, so if you haven’t added descriptions yet, we would recommend that you do.
Once published, your selected fields will be displayed in Discover’s sidebar, and field descriptions are displayed on hover.
Step #7. Group Components
You can add grouping to your viewpoint to nest components within a group defined by various criteria such as field values, component types, workspaces, or referenced components.
The grouping function in the Viewpoint Builder is basically the same as in the Perspectives function in core Ardoq, so if you’re familiar with the core application, you’ll find a few differences here. Read more about Ardoq’s grouping functionality.
There’s one important point to bear in mind though, which is different from the core application: If you want to group by parent, parent all, or referenced component, you must include those types in your viewpoint model in the previous step.
Step #8. Highlight Key Info With Formatting
You can also add formatting and annotation effects to your viewpoint. As with grouping, this function is the same as the core Ardoq application.
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.
Conditional formatting rules will be displayed in the legend.
Likewise, label formatting will annotate your components and references with extra information. This can include their type and key properties you’ve defined for them. These annotations can be used in conjunction with conditional formatting to reinforce the key information you want to convey or add additional information.
Step #9. Reorder Non-Priority Surveys
In this section of the Viewpoint Editor, at the component type level, you can drag and drop non-priority surveys to reorder them by the level of their importance for a user.
First, let’s define what we mean by priority and non-priority surveys.
The priority survey is the one you marked as “Set as priority survey” when connecting it to Discover.
The remaining surveys related to the specific component type but not marked as “Priority” are non-priority surveys.
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. In addition, it will match the order of call-to-action sections in the dropdown menu.
Keep in mind that you’ll not be able to remove any surveys from this list.
Use case example
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 a Discover user opens an application here, there are a couple of goals they might pursue. If the admin understands the priority of these goals for a user, they can arrange the non-priority surveys to show the most important ones first.
For example, we know one of the user goals in the “Application Lifecycle by Capability” viewpoint is confirming the use of an application and ensuring that it is renewed when it’s time. While this component type, Applications, may have multiple surveys associated with it, an "Update Application" survey that asks a user for information regarding this application would be the second (after the one defined with a Priority survey) most important for a user who previews this viewpoint. Therefore, the admin places it on top of other non-priority surveys in the “Submit an Update” drop-down menu, and the user can quickly locate it.
Step #10. Saving and Publishing Your Viewpoints
Once you have set up your viewpoint you can Save changes to ensure they are not lost.
By default, a newly created saved viewpoint will be “unpublished” and only visible to the Ardoq administrator. To make it visible to other users, you’ll need to set the viewpoint to “Live” which will mark it as “published” in the Viewpoint asset manager.
To do that you’ll need to set the viewpoint to Live. Once done, it will be visible to users and be marked as published in the Viewpoint asset manager.
Ardoq administrators can see unpublished viewpoints, enabling them to test viewpoints before publishing, or alternatively to deprecate old viewpoints without deleting them.
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.