User Guide - Creating a custom aggregation mode

Available in CAST Imaging ≥ 2.3.x.


When using CAST Imaging you can choose how your application is displayed using one of the default "aggregation modes" available out of the box (depending on the scope you choose) - these default modes are explained in User Guide - GUI - Investigate panel.

However, you may find that these default modes do not meet your requirements for displaying your application data. If so, you can create your own custom aggregation mode and display your objects as you have designed. For example, you can choose to display on specific object types and/or group specific object types together:

Things to know about custom aggregation modes

Custom aggregation modes are both application and user specific. In other words, a custom aggregation will only be available for the specific application you created it for and by default initially only for the user that created it. Access can be granted to additional users/groups when creating the custom aggregation mode - see Grant access to the custom aggregation mode below.

In ≥ 2.17.1-funcrel, custom aggregations which re-use existing CAST supplied aggregations such as CAST Taxonomy, Module, Service etc. have a set limit of 100,000 nodes. If your aggregation contains more than the set limit, the following error message is displayed:

This limit is set in order to avoid performance issues when the custom aggregation is used. In this situation, and as a last resort, it is possible to increase the limit (knowing that this may cause performance issues and other unexpected side effects) - see Configuring the custom aggregation node limit.

Note that the node limit is not applied when creating a custom aggregation from scratch and not using the existing CAST supplied aggregations.

Creating a new aggregation mode

To create a new aggregation mode, first ensure you are viewing the application you want to create the custom aggregation mode for:

Now use the Aggregation Mode option visible in the header menu:

This will open up a new blank view as follows:

First click the + button to start the creation process:

Now choose the options for your aggregation mode and click Save when done - the mode will be ready to customize:

NameChoose a name for your custom aggregation - this name will be displayed to end users when they select the custom aggregation mode for display.
Populate the aggregation using

This option allows you to choose an existing aggregation mode (custom and default) to use to populate your new aggregation mode. Choosing an option will create a layout using the chosen aggregation mode. For example, the custom aggregation mode has been built with the default "Modules" aggregation mode:

Click to enlarge

If you prefer to start from scratch with a blank layout, you do not have to choose an option.

Populating the new aggregation mode

To populate the new aggregation mode with the items you require, use the + icon:

This allows you to create a custom "node", i.e. a grouping of objects. This is in effect a search mechanism to locate the objects present in the parent application you want to add to the custom node:

Search only for objects

Enter the string to search for - i.e. the string to match specific object names that you want to add to the custom node. You can choose more advanced search options if required:

Regex patternTick this to enable search via a regular expression.
Name/FullnameSelect as appropriate. The search string will be applied to the options you choose.
Search by positionSelect as appropriate to specify where in the string the match should occur.
FiltersFilter on object types AND tags or switch to object types OR tags.
Select an object type(s)

Choose if you want to limit the search results to specific object types:

Search a tagIf tags have been added, you can select them to further limit the search results.
Between tagsFilter tags using an AND (match all tags) or OR (match any tag).

The resulting list of objects present in the parent application and matching the search parameters you added will be displayed:

Choose the objects you want to add to the custom node using the tick boxes:

Then choose a name for the custom node:

The new node will then be placed in the custom aggregation:

You can now interact with this node using the familiar options available in CAST Imaging. You can also additional nodes and view the links between the objects within them.

Associate objects to a custom node from another scope

When working in another scope at Object level (for example the User Guide - Application scope or the User Guide - Module scope) it is possible to select objects and add them directly to an existing custom node in a published and unpublished custom aggregation view. First select the objects you want to add to the custom node, right click the objects and select Associate to custom aggregation:

You will then be able to select:

  • the custom aggregation (associated to the current application) whether published or unpublished
  • and whether you want to add the objects to an existing custom node or to a new one:

Use the Remove object from other existing nodes when you want to ensure that the object you are associating is not already associated to any custom nodes in the target custom aggregation. Ticking the box will disassociate the object from any custom nodes in the target custom aggregation, if they exist.

Grant access to the custom aggregation mode

By default a custom aggregation mode is only available to the user that created it. If you would like other users to be able to access the aggregation mode, then you need to explicitly grant them access using the following icon:

Any user or group that has been granted access to the parent application (see Admin Center - Users panel) will be available for selection in this drop down list. You can change this access even after the new custom mode is created and published.

If a user is a member of an LDAP/Active Directory group or groups and this user creates a new custom aggregation mode, all the users that are ALSO members of the same group/groups will also be able to use the new custom aggregation mode.

Publish a custom aggregation mode

When you have completed the design/population of your custom aggregation mode, you need to publish it in order to make it available to others:

When published, the aggregation mode will be available in the Perspective drop down:

Editing/removing a published custom aggregation mode

First ensure you are viewing the application you want to edit the custom aggregation mode for:

Now use the Aggregation Mode option visible in the header menu:

Now choose the aggregation mode in the drop down:

You can delete the aggregation mode - this will make it unavailable for use:

Or you can edit it (you can add/remove nodes, change the name, or change the access permissions) and then re-publish it to make it available for use:

Searching an internal object

In releases ≥ 2.15 you can search multiple objects at once in custom aggregation.

You may either select the object name/s from the drop-down list or enter the object name in the search panel.

Header options

1Add a new custom node into your custom aggregation mode.
2Aggregation mode selector.

Displays information about the aggregation mode:


Edit the current aggregation mode - this is restricted to the name:

5Delete the current aggregation mode. This is irreversible and will make the mode unavailable for use.

Grant permissions to additional users:

7Add a new custom aggregation mode.
8Publish a mode when changes are complete.

Working at Objects level with a custom aggregation based on Modules

When drilling down beyond level 5 into the Objects level view, the legend on the right hand side will indicate which "parent" item the current object belongs to:

Click to enlarge

Visual grouping in custom aggregation

In releases ≥ 2.16, the newly created Custom Aggregations are supported in Visual Grouping.

Click on Custom Agreegation icon. Following screen with an option to "Create New Aggregation View" is displayed.

Enter a name for the new aggregation view and select the "Populate the aggregation using" from the drop-down. Click save.

The newly created custom aggregation is supported in Visual Grouping only when it is populated by any option except CAST Taxonomy.

Publish the newly created/saved Custom aggregation.

The saved Custom Aggregation is displayed in the Aggregated by drop-down list.

When you drill-down the custom aggregation, you may see the Visual Grouping enabled by default.