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Introduction

CAST Imaging is an web based application, which gives unprecedented visibility of a software. It scans the software and helps you to understand:

  • Software architecture
  • Database structure
  • End-to-end transactions
  • Frameworks
  • Internal Dependencies

A browser is required to use CAST Imaging. See Software requirements for CAST Imaging for more information about supported browsers.

Login

To connect to the CAST Imaging, browse to the URL given by your administrator. For example:

≥ 2.0.0-beta6:
 
http://<server_IP_address>:8083/imaging/login
http://<server_host_name>:8083/imaging/login

≤ 2.0.0-beta5:
 
http://<server_IP_address>/imaging/login
http://<server_host_name>/imaging/login

Enter your credentials and then click LOG IN.

If necessary, click the eye icon to view or to check if the password is correct.

Error message is displayed if either the username or password is incorrect:

Session timeout

If there is no user activity (API calls) for a default period of 20 minutes, the login session will timeout. When this occurs, the following alert message is displayed:

If you wish to continue the current session, please click Extend Session within the notification time - displayed in seconds in the upper right corner of the message (the default is 20 seconds - see Customizing session timeout for more information about modifying this period).

If the notification time expires, then the EXTEND SESSION button will be disabled and instead you will need to click RELOGIN to start a new session - you will be redirected to the login page in this case:

After a default period of 5 hours, a session will timeout regardless of whether there is continuous user activity or not.

Application selection

After a successful login, the application selection page displays the available list of applications that can be investigated. You can also use the search box to find the required application:

Once an application is selected the scope is narrowed to that application:

Click to enlarge

Toolbar menu options

Standard toolbar for all users

Toolbar when working in the Admin Center

Available options:

IconDescription

Displays the standard Search popup. See User Guide - Search for items.

Displays the Application Information card:

Click to enlarge

Application info

  • Lines of Code: This is the value reported by the metric Number of Code Lines (10151) for the entire application.
  • Number of Artifacts: This is the value reported by the metric Number of Artifacts (10152) for the entire application - see By default a maximum of 6 views can be saved. This restriction can be changed in Configuring display preferences. for more information.
  • Number of Decisions Points: This is the value reported by the metric Number of Decision Points (10506) for the entire application.

Taxonomy of Levels

"Taxonomy" information to show how the various "levels" in the application are classified.

  • Abstracted Service level (Level 1)
  • Service level (Level 2)
  • Concept level (Level 3)
  • Technology / Framework level (Level 4)
  • Object Type level (Level 5)

Investigation Path

Shows how to navigate through the various levels:

  • Move down levels >> double click
  • Move back through levels >> SHIFT + double click

Version details

Indicates the version number of the ETL tool used to import the Application into CAST Imaging:

See Admin Center - API key generation and usage.

Only visible to users with the ADMIN or SUPER ADMIN role AND when working in the Admin Center

Allows you to switch to a different Application via a drop down menu.

Admin/User menu - see below.

This icon is only displayed when logged in as a user with the ADMIN role and when working in the Admin Center GUI. Shows the installed release of CAST Imaging and will prompt when the installed release has been superseded:

A link to download the latest release is also available.

This icon is only displayed when logged in as a user with the ADMIN role and when working in the Admin Center GUI. Indicates the current "health" of all CAST Imaging services. A red dot indicates that at least one service is not functioning. Clicking the icon will show the status of all services:

You can use the refresh icon to get a current status update.

If you have not yet configured the source code viewer or your configured CAST Storage Service/PostgreSQL instance is down or not accessible, the Source Code service will show a red dot, indicating an issue.

Admin/User menu options

Admin menuUser menu

Available menu options

Menu option

Description

Admin Center

Provides access to the Admin Center. Only displayed when logged in as a user with the ADMIN role. Refer to: Configuration options - Admin Center GUI.

PreferencesProvides access to the Preferences window. Refer to: Configuring display preferences.
Logout

Allows you to logout of CAST Imaging.

Investigate panel

Available in ≥ 2.1.0-funcrel. Documentation below shows ≥ 2.2.0-funcrel.

The Investigate panel is a slide in panel that provides navigation options for the current view. To toggle the panel, use the  icon in the top left corner. This option opens or closes the slide in panel:

The position of the Investigate panel is stored in memory and persists between logins. Note that the panel can be manually resized by dragging the divider and will lock to a "minimized" display:

Perimeter options

The Perimeter options determine what is displayed in the view:

OptionDescription

Scope


Enables you to switch between the various available scopes. For example:

For all Scopes (except Application), a sub scope selector is available, for example for Data Call Graph mode - this allows you to select specific items within that scope:

Perspective options

The Perspective options largely govern how the selected Scope is displayed:

OptionDescription

Aggregated by


Enables you to choose how to group the objects in the Application, for example:

CAST Taxonomy

This is the standard grouping option determined by CAST Imaging (and is equivalent to the grouping used in previous releases of CAST Imaging). It is available across all Scopes:

Click to enlarge

Module

Displays the Application by individual Modules - these Modules are determined during source code delivery/analysis using AIP Console:

Click to enlarge

The User Guide - Module scope displays similar, but only individual Modules can be selected.
Service

Displays the Application by individual Microservices - these Microservices are determined when the Application in question has been analyzed with a specific extension installed, before it is exported/imported into CAST Imaging:

Click to enlarge

The User Guide - Service scope displays similar, but only individual Services can be selected.

<...> Architecture Model

Provides a choice of Architecture Models available in the selected Application (these are configured using AIP Console). When one is selected, the view displays all Architecture Model layers available in the selected Architecture Model:

Click to enlarge

The User Guide - Service scope displays similar, but only individual Services can be selected.

ABAP Packages

Available only in CAST Imaging ≥ 2.6.0 and when the imported Application contains SAP ABAP source code.

Displays only ABAP Package objects and shows the interdependencies between them:

Click to enlarge

In addition, this aggregation mode can be customized using the Custom Aggregation option (unlike other default Aggregation Modes such as CAST Taxonomy).

Custom aggregation modesAdditional entries may be visible. These are custom aggregation nodes - see User Guide - Creating a custom aggregation mode.
Levels

Use this option to further refine the aggregation using the levels mechanism. The levels available differ according to the scope/aggregation mode you are working in:

LevelContainsAggregation mode
CAST TaxonomyModulesArchitecture Model
Level 1

Highest level, objects grouped into nodes such as:

  • Data Services
  • Services
  • System Interaction
  • User Interaction
(tick)(tick)(tick)
Level 2
  • Communication Services
  • Database Services
  • Logic Services
  • Monitoring Services
  • Output Services
  • Screen Interaction
  • Web Interaction
(tick)(error)(error)
Level 3
  • Business Logic
  • Business Logic Coordination
  • Data Access Services
  • Exposed API
  • Logger
  • RDBMS Services
  • Reporting Services
  • Rich Client Presentation
  • Web Coordination
  • Web Presentation
(tick)(error)(error)
Level 4

Specific object groupings such as:

  • Hibernate Data Access
  • HTML Presentation
  • Jackson
  • Jasper Reports
  • Java Business Logic
  • Java Core
(tick)(error)(error)
Level 5

More detailed object groupings such as: 

  • HTML Pages
  • J2EE Scoped Bean
  • Java Class
  • Java Class DAO
(tick)(error)(error)
Objects

Individual object display in vignette mode:

Click to enlarge

(tick)(tick)(tick)

Drill down / Communities mode options

These options are only available when drilling down beyond Level 5

Icon/OptionDescription

Determines the type of "expand" action that is performed when drilling down beyond Level 5:

  • Children + caller/callee, group by communities
  • Children only, group by communities
  • Children + external objects, group by communities

These options are available for parent nodes that group together package based objects, for example Java Classes, some database objects etc. On selecting any of the options, all child or caller/callee objects of the objects in the selected node will be displayed in a new view together with external objects (depending on the option selected). The objects are grouped in the new view based on their packages:

Click to enlarge


Only visible when a drill down option that includes Communities is chosen.
  • Keep Immediate (default option) > Here all the other groups related to the selected group remain in the view and objects belonging to the selected group will be added to the view as square nodes and all other groups which are not related to the selected group are regrouped into a single parent node.

  • Group Others > Here objects belonging to the selected group are added to the view as square nodes and all other groups are regrouped into a single parent node.

  • Keep All > Here all the other groups remain the same where as objects belonging to the selected group are added to graph as square nodes.

Layout options

Icon/OptionActionDescription

Graph layout feature

Use these options to choose an auto-layout for the nodes. For specific scopes, a specific layout maybe predefined (for example, Hierarchical is always used for Data Call Graph modeIn Hierarchical layout, additional options are available:

Use these to:

  • change the distance between nodes, horizontally
  • change the distance between nodes, vertically
  • change the ranking direction ( "TB"|"BT"|"LR"|"RL") - top-bottom/bottom-top, left-right/right-left)







Add a document view

See User Guide - Using the Document-It feature for more information.

Hide external libraries

Allows you to filter on the type of objects that are displayed in the view. Toggling the options will remove and re-display corresponding objects from the view:

  • External > External objects are those originating in third-party libraries or system assemblies.
  • Isolated Nodes > Nodes that are not linked to any other node.

Hide isolated nodes

This option hides any nodes that entirely isolated, i.e. do not have any links to other nodes:

 Reduced call graph

Only available when:

  • working with an Application that has been exported/imported into CAST Imaging ≥2.7.0.
  • you have selected a Transaction for display.
  • you are working at Objects level.

This option (when clicked) will update the view to display the selected Transaction's call graph in reduced mode - this is a simplified transaction call graph that is particularly useful when the standard call graph is very large: specific nodes and links that are less important will be removed from the view. The nodes/links that are displayed when this option is selected are determined automatically during the Application export process.

Before using the option - note the nodes highlighted in red - these are the nodes that are displayed after enabling the option:

After:

Shortest path

  • Only functions when working in drill down investigation mode, beyond Level 5 in Transaction view and Data Call Graph view.
  • Multiple shortest paths may be displayed in ≥ 2.3.x.

This displays the critical (i.e. shortest) path between two objects (source and target). The view will show the critical (i.e. shortest) path between the input node (i.e. the selected transaction/node) and a "dummy" output node (any nodes/objects not involved will be temporarily hidden). For example, a JSP transaction is selected in the Investigation panel and the critical path is highlighted on drill down beyond Level 5:

Click to enlarge

Disabling the option will return to the main layout.

 Main objects only

Only available:

  • in CAST Imaging ≥2.7.0.
  • you have selected a Transaction or a Data Call Graph for display.
  • you are working at Objects level.

Toggles the view to show main objects and sub-objects (default when not enabled) and main objects only (when enabled):

Before using the option - note the nodes highlighted in red - these are the nodes that are displayed after enabling the option:

After:

Note that some right click options on nodes are disabled when Main objects only is enabled:

Export all objects and links

Exports the current view to a number of different output formats. See Export views.

Save a view / Updated saved view

To save the current view with a view name (available in all view types across all levels in ≥ 1.10.0). To view the saved view, see Saved views.

When you are viewing an existing saved view, this option will re-save the view.

Removed saved view

Only available:

  • in the Search view - allows you to clear the Search view of all objects.
  • in a Saved view - allows you to delete the Saved view (cannot be reversed)

Menus/icons

Left sidebar menus

IconActionDescription

Toggle Investigate panel.

See above.

Access Saved Views.See Saved view.

Reports

Available in CAST Imaging ≥ 2.7.0.

See User Guide - Reports.

Node Snapping

Use this option to help build layouts with nodes/objects that are equidistance from each other. When enabled, additional guide lines will be added to the view when arranging nodes/objects:

Provides two menu options:

 Rectangle selection - allows the selection of multiple items.

 Lasso selection - allows the selection of multiple items free hand.

Note that you can also select items in the view as follows:

  • Hold down the CTRL key and then left click one-by-one on the items in the view
  • Hold down the ALT key and then hold down the left mouse button - this will activate the "rectangle" selector.
  • Hold down the CTRL key and then hold down the left mouse button - this will activate the "lasso" selector.

Grouping feature. Two options available:

  • Group selected nodes
  • Ungroup selected nodes

The selection enables you to group and ungroup specific sets of objects/technologies.

  • Grouping of nodes works only at level 5.
  • The Ungroup option is only visible if the Group option has been used.

Group selected nodes:

  • Select the nodes, using either Rectangle or Lasso selection.
  • Using Grouping Features option, select Group selected nodes. All the selected nodes are grouped:

  • Right click on "Grouped node" to rename the group.

To ungroup, repeat the process and this time select Ungroup selected nodes.

The Visual Grouping option enables you to visualize a specific level grouping in another level. For example, if you are working in level 5 you can choose to view the nodes in level 5 using the grouping from any of the other levels 1 - 4. Choosing Level 1 when in Level 5 (for example) will show the following: the rectangle shapes are added to the view to indicate which nodes would be grouped in their respective grouping - e.g. in this example:

  • Service
  • User Interaction
  • Data Services

To remove the visualization, choose the Remove Visualisation option:

Add tags feature

Only visible when working in drill down investigation mode, beyond Level 5.

Use this option to add specific tags to specific items - these tags can then be used as a search term to find items of interest more quickly. Tags can be added in the following features at Objects node level view:

Add tags

Select the item or items you want to tag and click the tag icon - a dialog will display enabling you to add the specific tag you require:

Removing tags

To remove a tag:

  • select the object or objects you want to remove the tags from
  • click the tag icon in the side menu bar
  • remove the tag/tags you do not want:

Add Object type nodeSee User Guide - Working with custom Object type nodes. Only available in Application layers view mode at Level 5 and not in drill down Object/Method level.

Diagram options:

  • Legend
  • Object Label
  • Relationship Label
  • Badge




Legend: Hide/unhide the legend located in the top right corner.

The legend is interactive - clicking an item in the legend will hide/unhide the associated objects in the view:

All items enabled:

Web interaction disabled:

In addition you can use the Unselect All / Select All options to toggle hide and unhide all nodes in the view:

When the Application scope and any aggregation mode is selected, colours are now used to identify the specific grouped items (Modules, Service etc.) in the view:

Click to expand

Object Label: Hide/unhide:

This option helps to hide and unhide the Object Label.

Relationship Label: Hide/unhide:

This option shows the relationship between two objects.

Badge: Shows the number of objects in a node (it does not include objects of other nodes). You can hide/unhide it.

Ungroup/group links
Only functions when working in drill down investigation mode, beyond Level 5.

Toggles between grouped links/edges (default position) and ungrouped.

Explanation: some links/edges in the drill down view will be "highlighted". This indicates that there is more than one link between the objects and therefore these links/edges are grouped:

Using the Ungroup links option, all links between the two objects will be displayed:

Use the option again to toggle between the two states (grouped/ungrouped).

Hide/Unhide
Only visible when working in drill down investigation mode, beyond Level 5.

Enables you to hide selected objects from the view. Also available in the right click contextual menu.

Document-It featureSee User Guide - Using the Document-It feature for more information.

Access the Tutorial feature.

Only visible when the Tutorial is enabled for your login.

Displays the Tutorial - an interactive guide  to help understand the various features available in CAST Imaging. It provides an application walkthrough using three major steps to explain application architecture, drill down capabilities and annotations. Each step has a set of actions defined for you to work through. Certain actions also have a help button to identify the elements. Following all the steps and actions will provide a better understanding of the core CAST Imaging capabilities:

Access the external documentation.N/A

Access the embedded overview documentation.

Click to enlarge

Other "on view" icons

Top right corner

CloseVisible only when an object has been double clicked in Level 5 and the Investigation window is open - this icon allows you close the Investigation window.

Show Object Properties

When a node is selected, clicking this icon will show the Object Properties dialog:

If the object properties cannot be retrieved in a timely manner, a retry button will be displayed:

Bottom left corner

Create View

This icon is only visible in in Saved views and Search views modes. It enables you to create multiple "views" or "vignettes" to investigate a specific set of items. Vignettes can be created from the "base" view in Saved views and Search views modes.

View creation

To create the view, select the items you are interested in, then click the Create View option. The view "vignette" will be created (click to enlarge):

By default a maximum of 6 views can be created. This restriction can be changed in Configuring display preferences.

View

  • Each view can be dragged holding on to the drag icon present in the bottom right and dragging it.
  • The view can be re-centered by clicking the icon in the bottom left.

Save view

You can save the contents of the currently selected vignette in a "saved view", by clicking the Save icon in the top right;

Please note the following:

  • if creating vignettes from a saved view, when you perform a save, you will lose the original saved view as CAST Imaging will update this original view with the objects from the vignette.
  • if you have created more than one vignette, you can only save one of those vignettes to a saved view (the one that is selected when you click save).

Delete view

  • Each view can be deleted by clicking the close icon in the top right corner of the view. You will be prompted before the delete occurs.

Current view searchSee Current view search.

Zoom inZoom in to view more detail. You can also use the roller button on your mouse to zoom in.

Focus centerFocus center option lets you auto-adjust, to include all nodes.

Zoom outZoom out to view less detail. You can also use the roller button on your mouse to zoom out.

Undo/Redo

These options are available only at Level 5 and Objects mode (and also in Saved views which have objects and sub-objects included). They allow you to undo/redo actions such as:

  • adding callers/callees
  • add custom objects/links
  • when auto-grouped objects (i.e. nodes that are automatically grouped together by CAST Imaging) are manually ungrouped. Note that the undo/redo actions are not available for nodes that have been manually grouped together.

The keyboard commands CTRL + X and CTRL + Y are also supported.

Bottom right corner

Object level switcher

Use this to change levels. Only available in Application scope and CAST Taxonomy aggregation mode. This has the same effect as using the drop down:

 

Stop (disabled and enabled)

In the majority of scenarios, this button will be disabled (gray). However, when accessing a node (double click) which contains more than 3000 child nodes, or more than 9000 edges (thresholds can be changed in Configuring display preferences), a progressive rendering system is invoked in order to avoid situations where the rendering process locks the browser. Portions of the full graph are displayed progressively in steps and when this occurs, a message will be displayed in the bottom right corner:

Closing the message will reveal the Stop icon enabled and flashing in a blue colour. You can click this button to stop the progressive loading.

 

Expand All / Collapse All

Visible only in Level 5 views when using the view/vignette, or in other views in where the vignette is available (Architecture model modeModule view mode etc.):

The options will:

  • expand all (ungroup) all nodes in one go
  • collapse all (regroup) all nodes in one go (only displayed once the Expand All option has been selected).

Full screenTo view the entire graph/view in browser (full screen mode).

UI error handling

If the UI hangs when consulting an application, the error is now handled correctly by CAST Imaging: a popup appears at the bottom of the screen asking you to reload the page: