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Table of Contents

Connecting to the CAST Dashboard

Info

Please see Managing users and roles for the CAST portals for more information about the User configuration process. This guide assumes that the users have already been set up.

To connect to the CAST Dashboard:

  • Open your web browser (Internet Explorer or other supported browser - see the Release Notes)
  • Enter the following URL:
No Format
http://SERVER_NAME:8080/CASTAD
Info

Please note that the "SERVER_NAME" needs to be changed to the name (or IP address) of the server hosting the application server. The same is true for the port number: by default for Apache Tomcat it is "8080", although this may be different in the local environment and indeed may be different if you are using a different supported application server.

  • The connection screen will then be displayed:

  • Enter the correct login and password combination - this will have been given to you by your CAST Administrator. This combination grants you access to the information depending on the rights your login has been given.
  • Click the Connect button to begin the connection process.
  • If the connection is successful, your designated Home page will then be displayed (see FRAME_USER_VIEWS_EDITION - User Preferences for more information about this). If not a warning message will be displayed - check your settings and try again.

General interface

A general description of the CAST Dashboard main page follows.

Principles

The CAST Dashboard offers browsing mechanisms into the quality and quantity information along the different following dimensions:

  • From aggregated quality-and quantity-related information to highly detailed information:
    • Browse up and down the quality and quantity models, showing for instance Application Health Factor values or Metric values or even the list of elementary objects responsible for the value
  • From 'Application' node of the 'Portfolio Tree' to each individual 'Module' node:
    • Browse up and down the 'Portfolio Tree'
  • From 'Organization' nodes of the 'Organization Tree' to each individual 'Developer' node:
    • Browse up and down the 'Organization Tree'
  • From a single-'Snapshot' to a multi - or all-'Snapshot' view
  • From a single-'Portfolio node' or 'Organization node' to a multi-'Portfolio node' or -'Organization node' view
  • From a single-'Portfolio node' to a single-Technology view

Browsing up and down any dimension is allowed. As an example, one can browse:

  • down one level along the 'Portfolio Tree'
  • down one level along the quality model
  • up one level along another branch of the quality model
  • switch to the 'Organization Tree'
  • down one level along the 'Organization Tree'
  • switch to all-'Snapshot' view for monitoring
  • switch to single-'Snapshot' view for a previous 'Snapshot'
  • ...

Navigation

Drop down menu

To provide easier access to your information, the CAST Dashboard pages features a drop down menu list to help you move easily between pages:

Each CAST Dashboard user is designated three favorite pages and these will appear by default in the drop down menu. You can modify the pages that are designated as favorites using the FRAME_USER_VIEWS_EDITION - User Preferences page.

In addition, each user has a Home page - the content of this page is governed by your CAST Dashboard login. For example, the default CAST user has Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown (see FRAME_PORTAL_INVESTIGATION_VIEW - Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown) as the Home page, however, you can change this using the FRAME_USER_VIEWS_EDITION - User Preferences page.

Info

Users with Administrator rights can modify the content of each default page using the Users Access Administration Pages (see FRAME_PORTAL_QUICKACCESS_ADG - Quick Access).

Snapshot details

Most pages in the CAST Dashboard display details about the current snapshot (name, version, date):

Easy access to all available views (FRAME_PORTAL_EASYACCESS_ADG)

The CAST Dashboard provides a wide range of different views. To view an exhaustive list of them all and to be able to access any one of them, select the More option in the drop down menu:

This will display a new page in which you can select and access any one of the available views (click to enlarge):

Menu items

The CAST Dashboard contains various menu items to help you work with your data:

Select application / Select context

These rollover options are available on most pages and allow you to quickly choose the specific application or context you require:

Select system / application...

Allows you to choose the Application (as defined in the CAST Management Studio) you require.

Select context...

Allows you to choose the Context you require - i.e., the Modules defined (whether automatically or manually in the CAST Management Studio) in each Application.

Select techno...

Allows you to choose the Technology you require - available in the FRAME_PORTAL_INVESTIGATION_VIEW - Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown and the FRAME_PORTAL_TECHNOLOGY_VIEW - Compliance - Technology Level.

Use this option to search for items in the CAST Dashboard.

The search functions as follows:

  • The search is carried out on the words you enter
  • The search is case-insensitive

The following items are searched:

  • Quality Indicators (i.e. Quality Rules)
  • Portfolio Nodes (i.e. Applications and Modules)
  • Development Entities (i.e. Development Organizations declared in a Background Facts XML file)
  • Source Code Objects

Results show:

  • Search summary - i.e. in where matches have been found:
    • Object Full Names - source code objects, Applications, Modules etc.
    • Entity Names - Development Organizations declared in a Background Facts XML file
    • Quality Indicator Names - Quality Rules
  • Misc. info such as Deleted objects, Indicators with no results, Object Types, Indicators’ parents etc.

For example:

Filtering specific items

To help you limit the scope of the search facility, you can use the following shortcuts to search for specific items:

ShortcutComment
rule:Use this to target Quality Rule, Measures and Distributions. If you are searching for a particular Quality Rule, enter for example (change rule name for the name of the rule/measure/distribution): rule:rule name
obj:Use this to target objects by name. If you are searching for a particular object, enter for example (change object name for the name of the object): obj:object name
ruleid:Use this to target Quality Rule, Measures and Distributions by id number. If you are searching for a particular item, enter for example (change number for the id of the object): ruleid:number

Technical or Application/Module investigation

In the FRAME_PORTAL_INVESTIGATION_VIEW - Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown page either one of the following icons will be visible on the menu bar:

Allows you to switch from the current Applications/Modules focus to the Technology focus (default mode)

Allows you to switch from the current Technology focus to the Applications/Modules focus

When you switch, the context selector (see above) will change, allowing to you browse by Application/Module:

or by Technology:

Capture permanent URL

In the following pages:

you can use the located in the top right hand corner of the CAST Dashboard to obtain a permanent URL to the data you are looking at (simply copy the URL in the address bar or bookmark it). This is particularly useful if you have changed the focus of Business or Technical Criterion (for example).

Favorites

On every page in the CAST Dashboard a star symbol will be visible in the menu bar:

This page is already a favorite.

This page is not yet a favorite and can be designated a favorite by clicking the star.

When a page is designated as a favorite, it will appear in the Drop Down menu (see above). You can manage your favorite pages via the FRAME_USER_VIEWS_EDITION - User Preferences page.

User drop down menu

Each user has a user menu:

Home Page

Will redirect you to your designated Home page - see the FRAME_USER_VIEWS_EDITION - User Preferences page for more information about modifying the designated Home page.

User Preferences

Redirects you to the FRAME_USER_VIEWS_EDITION - User Preferences page where you can manage your favorites and designated Home page.

Logout

Will log you out of the CAST Dashboard.

Left hand panel

In most static User profiled pages a left hand panel is displayed containing various statistical information:

Info

Note that some data is not displayed depending on the page you are looking at.

Award section (Quality/Risk Protected)

The Award section shows award icons based on the grade of the application with regard to TQI (Technical Quality Index) and the number of violations to Quality Rule-based metrics whose "critical contribution" option has been set and which participate in the Robustness, Performance and Security Health Factors.

The Application will receive:

  • a Superior Quality (5 star) award if their TQI grade is greater than the GOLD parameter value (default is '3.1').
  • a Fair Quality (4 star) award if their TQI grade is lower or equal to the GOLD parameter value (default is '3.1') and greater than the SILVER parameter value (default is '2.9').
  • a Risk-Protected award if the number of violations to diagnostic-based metrics whose "critical contribution" option has been set and which participate to the Robustness, Performance, and Security Health Factors is lower than the BRONZE parameter value (default is '200'). This award is not incompatible with the previous awards.
Info

If the TQI grade is lower then 2.9, then no Award stars are displayed at all.

The idea behind these awards is to let organizations define internal objectives and reward applications that reach these objectives. Some applications may not reach any of these objectives and the "award" section will simply not be displayed.

To set up different values, adapt and run the following query against the CAST Dashboard Service:

No Format
UPDATE VIEWER_PARAMETERS
SET VALUE = 0 - new value
WHERE ID = 'BRONZE' - or 'GOLD' or 'SILVER'
AND PARAMETER_INDEX = 0
  • The application server must then be restarted so that the new values are taken into account.

Statistics

Technical Debt

Technical Debt is displayed in order to:

  • Provide information to make quality more tangible to non-technical people
  • Provide information to compare applications

Technical Debt is calculated as follows:

  • Total Technical Debt per Application
  • Total Technical Debt per Module
  • Technical Debt Added in Current Release of the Application
  • Technical Debt Removed in Current Release of the Application
Info

Please see Technical Debt - calculation and modification (part of the CAST Portal Admin Guide) for more information about how Technical Debt is calculated and how the default values can be modified.

Other statistics

Other statistics are displayed underneath the Technical Debt:

  • Various statistics for Current and Previous snapshots - Critical Violations/Critical Objects
  • Snapshot information - Date of current/previous/first snapshot and number of snapshots generated, including Quality index data
  • Technical Size - kLOCs/Classes/Files/Programs/Forms/SQL Artifacts/Tables
  • Functional Weight - Backfired Function Points/Estimated Function Points/Total Decision Points
  • Top 5 technos for kLOCs
Info

With regard to Functional Weight:

  • NoKey will be displayed if you do not have the correct AFP/EFP license from CAST enabling you to view these statistics
  • NoCalib will be displayed if Estimated Function Points do exist but you have not used the CAST Transaction Configuration Center to calibrate your Function Points.
  • A value will be displayed if you have used the CAST Transaction Configuration Center to calibrate your Function Points.

Other browsing helpers

Interactive tables

Some pages that include lists of items in a table (for example the FRAME_PORTAL_FAQ_VIEW - Reports - FAQuery) use interactive tables to display data. These interactive tables allow you to sort the data in a more comprehensive manner than simply in ascending/descending order.

To do so, click the arrow in any of the column headings you want to perform the sort on:

This will give you access to a drop down menu offering various sort methods and options:

Each option is explained below:

Sort Ascending

Sorts the data in the selected column in ascending alphabetical or numerical order.

Sort Descending

Sorts the data in the selected column in descending alphabetical or numerical order.

Configure Sort

Use this option to configure your sort further. A new dialog box will be displayed:



You can use this to activate a sort in multiple columns in ascending or descending order:

  • Click the Add Level button to add a new sort
  • Click the Delete Level button to remove a sort
  • Click the Copy Level button to duplicate an existing sort
  • Click the Up and Down arrows to move sorts up and down in priority

Auto Fit All Columns

Sets the width of all columns to best fit the size of the data.

Auto Fit

Sets the width of the current column to best fit the size of the data.

Columns

A sub menu displays all available columns in the table allowing you to display or hide the columns you require. By default all columns are selected and displayed.

Group by <column_name>

Groups the data by the selected column. In this example, the FAQueries view "List of 50 Rules with largest increase in the number of Violations" is grouped by the Business Criterion column:



Note that:

  • initially the data is collapsed so that it is easier to view. Click the + and - buttons to expand and collapse the data.
  • The Group By option is disabled automatically (the menu option is grayed out) when you have more than 10000 items to display in a list.

Ungroup

This option reverses the Group by <column_name> option.

Freeze <column_name>

Use this option to freeze the column and place it in the far most left hand position.

Unfreeze <column_name>

Use this option to unfreeze any column that has already been "frozen".

Buttons - Action/Exclusion/Reset

Some interactive tables feature buttons such as Action, Exclusion and Reset (see FRAME_PORTAL_ACTION_PLAN - Improvement - Action Plan for more information about this) to modify the state of the objects listed in the table. If you use one of these buttons to make a change, please note that information in the table will only be updated once you have refreshed the current page, or moved to another page and then back to the original page.

Drag and drop columns

You can drag and drop columns in an interactive table to move the column position:

  • Left click the column you want to move
  • Hold the mouse button down and drag the column to its new position.

Non-interactive tables - column sort

Some lists that do not include the full interactive table, still offer the possibility to sort each column in ascending or descending alphanumeric order. Simply click the column heading to sort the column. An arrow indicates the sort direction:

Web browser error messages

If the connection to your CAST Dashboard Service should be lost for whatever reason, the CAST Dashboard will display detailed information about the error. It is no longer necessary to open the application server log files to identify the problem:

Page URLs

The CAST Dashboard features pages with stable URLs to be used as shortcuts for direct access to pages of interest. URLs use object, snapshot and metric internal IDs; they are therefore as stable as the:

  • Application and Module definitions
  • (optional) Organization, Team, Developer definitions
  • Snapshots (as long as they are not deleted)
  • Quantity and Quality models

Threshold indicator colours

In some pages in the CAST Dashboard (for example in the FRAME_PORTAL_COMPLIANCE_VIEW - Compliance - Application Level), the following threshold indicator colours are also used (actual threshold values can be changed in the CAST Management Studio) to display the grade of an item:

ThresholdDescriptionGrade

Orange

High

2.99 - 2.00

Red

Very High (bad)

1.99 and below
Info
Note that grades from 4.00 - 3.00 are not displayed with a coloured indicator. The aim is therefore to highlight only the areas which require immediate attention.

Panel Maximization

Panels, where available, can be maximized to fill an entire page by clicking on the square icon in the top right hand corner of each panel:

To restore the panel to its original size, click the double square icon:

This maximization feature allows you to access larger graphs and larger lists. Lists are paginated and can be exported with the Export All hyperlink into CSV format. List headers also let you sort the table according to the column of your choice.

Export to CSV

The CAST Dashboard provides the means to export various lists and tables to CSV format. Most notably, this feature can be found in the following locations:

The feature can be accessed by clicking the Export all link in any of the above locations as show below:

On clicking the link, you will be prompted to either Open or Save the file:

Clicking Open will launch the program associated with the .csv file type, while clicking Save will prompt you to choose a location to store the file for future use.

Info

By default, the semi-colon (;) is used as the delimiter value for the CSV file. If this delimiter is not suitable for your environment, you can modify it via the web.xml file - see Modifying the CSV delimiter for Export to CSV feature for more information.

Troubleshooting

If you use Microsoft Excel to open .csv files, it is possible that the content of the exported file may not display correctly. If this is the case, please check that your Windows defined List Separator value is a semi-colon (;) or matches the delimiter value you have set manually (see Modifying the CSV delimiter for Export to CSV feature for more information):

  • Open the Windows Control Panel (via the Start menu)
  • Click Regional and Languages Options
  • In the Regional Options tab, click the Customize button
  • Ensure that the List Separator is set to ; (semi colon) or matches the delimiter value you have set manually

  • Click Apply and then OK to close the dialog box, then OK to close the initial dialog box. The Separator should now be set.
  • Microsoft Excel should display the export as follows:

Export to PDF

The Report Builder feature (see Using the Report Builder) offers export to PDF format if required.

Language display

As explained in Managing users and roles for the CAST portals, it is possible to set a specific language for each dashboard user (English, French, Italian and German) so that the dashboard is displayed in that specific language. Please note however that currently only English is FULLY available.

Date display format

The date display format in the CAST Dashboard is determined by the language chosen for each user (English, French, Italian and German):

Language

Date display format

English

MM-dd-yyyy (US formatting)

French

dd/MM/yyyy

Italian

dd/MM/yyyy

German

dd.MM.yyyy

This can be seen for example in the FRAME_PORTAL_PORTFOLIO_VIEW - Assessment - Portfolio Level when looking at the Portfolio History graph:

If you would prefer a different date format, please see Date display formatting in the CAST Portal Admin Guide where the process is explained in more detail.

Printing

If you print out a page from the CAST Dashboard, you may find that the images embedded in the dashboard are not printed correctly. This can occur if you are using Internet Explorer and your browser cache is disabled (i.e.: Temporary Internet Files are set to "Never"). If this is the case, please set Temporary Internet Files to "Automatically" as shown below (you can access this dialog box by clicking Tools > Internet Options and then under the General tab, Browsing History section, click the Settings button):

You may need to restart the browser for the changes to take effect. Note that other supported browsers are not affected by this issue.