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Free definition node - Right hand panel

The Free Definition node is available in the Data functions, Transaction end points, Transaction entry point nodes and Excluded Items nodes. It enables you to define more complex criteria for detecting objects that you want to include in the Function Point Calibration process via the creation of sets:

Each area in the window is explained in more detail below:

Upper panels

These two panels govern the rules that you want to create for the current node:

Left hand panel The left hand panel will display the name of the node you are creating sets (i.e. rules) for (in the example above, the sets have been created for the Entry points node):
Generic Sets

A Generic Set is identical to a Set (i.e. you can configure specific selection criteria for assigning objects), however, these Generic Sets can then be re-used in other Sets whenever required through the use of the Member of block or the Excluded from block (see Working with block elements for more information).

This is particularly useful if you find you are creating the same type of Set multiple times - create the Set as a Generic Set instead and use the Generic Set in the Sets that require it.

Sets can be dragged from these panels into the Design window (see below) so that you can configure them.

Column headings

Description Displays a description for the set - double click to activate a cell and make changes to your set's description.
Activation The Activation heading indicated whether the rule/set is "Active" or "Inactive".

Special considerations:

  • When the Function Point computation is executed (either in the CAST Transaction Configuration Center using the Compute option or during snapshot computation), only active configuration rules are taken into account (the inactive ones will be ignored).
  • Exception: Free Definitions > Generic Sets will always be considered as active (they do not have the "Activation" attribute).
  • The default value when a configuration rule is added automatically from a configuration file will be "Active"
  • The default value when a configuration rule is manually created by the user will be "Active"
  • The user will be able to change the Activation status of a configuration rule by selecting the status in the Activation column and toggling between Active and Inactive.
  • "Generate sets" and "Generate all sets" actions will ignore the inactive configuration rules.

See Working with standard configuration files (.TCCSetup).

Updated When a new package version is available, it will be automatically loaded. When this process is finished, the CAST Transaction Configuration Center will flag those configuration rules that are new or updated, regarding the previous version, using the "Updated" column.

NOTE: The "Updated" column will only be relevant for standard configuration rules. The user-defined rules (those with "custom" package) will never be flagged as updated.

For example, let us consider a package P with an initial version 1.0, which defines 3 rules: A, B, C.

package="P"; version="1.0"Rule ARule BRule C

The first time this package is loaded, all rules will be considered as "new", and therefore they will all be flagged as UPDATED:

Rule Updated Package
A Yes P
B Yes P
C Yes P

This flag will remain until the next version package P is delivered. Let us consider that, after some time, a new version of package P (1.1) is delivered, containing 4 rules: A, B, C, D:

package="P"; version="1.1"Rule ARule BRule CRule D

Thus it contains one modified rule (C) and one new rule (D). The next time the CAST Transaction Configuration Center is opened, it will automatically refresh the rules of package P, installing the new version 1.1. When this is done, the rules C and D will be flagged as UPDATED:

Rule Updated Package
A No P
B No P
C Yes P
D Yes P

See Working with standard configuration files (.TCCSetup).

Package The Package heading identifies the origin of a configuration rule/set, with the special value "custom" for those configuration rules that are user-defined.

Special considerations regarding package column:

  • Package attribute cannot be defined by the user, the configuration rules will take either the value defined in the standard configuration files or the special value "custom" for the user-defined rules
  • The standard rules (i.e. those coming from the standard configuration files, and therefore with package value different from "custom") cannot be edited, removed or cut; they can only be activated/deactivated.
  • The standard rules (i.e. those coming from the standard configuration files, and therefore with package value different from "custom") can be copied; but when pasted, the pasted item will get package "custom".
  • The custom rules can be fully edited (except for the "package" value, which must always be "custom").

See Working with standard configuration files (.TCCSetup).

DET, RET, Contribute Please see DET, RET, Contribute values for more information about these columns.
Number of objects Displays how many objects have been identified by the rule. This column will only update after using the Compute option or generating a snapshot.
Types and Properties panel

The Types and Properties window simply displays the contents of the CAST Meta-Model - a list of all possible object types and categories that you can use in the creation of Sets:

Any of the items listed in the window can be dragged over to the design window (see below) and on to a Set to form part of the selection criteria.

Filter field The Filter field allows you to enter character strings to "filter" the display of items in the window. Filtering is instant - i.e. it occurs as soon as any strings are entered in the field.
Show only application types When selected, this option will hide all items that are not used by the current Application from the Types and Categories nodes.

When not selected, all possible items that can be present in the Analysis Service are listed under the Types and Categories nodes.

This option is particularly useful as it narrows down the choice of items when you are creating a Rule or Set. The list of items that can be present in the Analysis Service is very long, so restricting the list to only those items relevant to the current Application can save time.

Zoom factor This slider governs the zoom factor used in the design window (see below).
Links above model Activate this option to force links between rules and sets to be displayed above any rules and sets boxes. For example, the blue link below is displayed above the Generic Set box:

Composition links visibility This slider changes the opacity value of links between rules and sets via the configuration blocks member-of and excluded-from - blue arrows.

By default, this slider is set to fully opaque - i.e. links are always visible.

Right click menu options Right clicking an item in the Types or Categories nodes will offer you either of the following options depending on the node:
  • View implementing categories
  • View implemented types

Selecting one of these options will display a further dialog box that lists the matching items, for example, for the SQL Procedure type, you can see all the Categories that use this type:

Design window

This window is where you edit and configure your Sets and Generic Sets. You can find out more about this below:

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