Working with Indicators in the Architecture Repository

Thursday, July 2, 2015 | Likes: 0 | Comments: 0

Mark Paauwe

Sales Director

Dragon1 Inc

Working with Indicators in the Architecture Repository

About working with Indicators

indicator thermometer

In this blog, I will show you how easy it is to define and use a color indicator in Dragon1, so you can focus on the things that matter.

Do you recognize the following: You are presented with a list of, for example, 100 software applications and only five of these applications are worthwhile to look at in detail because they are problematic. Only the thing is, all the applications in the list are presented in the same way: the same colors, font type, etc..

The five important ones to look at are like needles in a haystack. If you don't know where you can find these five applications in the list, you might even not notice them or overlook them. They just don't stand out from the rest.

How great would it be if you could give certain items, in this case, the applications, in a list a different color than the others, so they stand out and you can quickly focus on them! Well in Dragon1 that can be done with Indicators.

What is an Indicator?

An indicator is an entity or an object that provides specific information on the state or condition of something.

In the Dragon1 Architecture Repository you can define indicators that will change the color of cells in a table depending on the value of an attribute. There are many other things you can do or change with an indicator, but we focus on the color indicator in this blog.

For an indicator to work you need to enter a minimal set of things: the name, the event, the condition, the action, and the context. Together these five things form a rule.

Suppose in your list you see that a software application has a maintenance cost of more than 50.000 USD per year. That is too costly for your organization and this application should be replaced with a cheaper one. In that case, you want the value (maintenance cost) that is too high, to be shown in red color. For that, you would need to define an indicator.

An example list of software applications

Below is an example list of software applications in the architecture repository that we imported from an Excel sheet (.xls) file.

In Dragon1, your data is stored (logically) in the database in cabinets, dossiers, and folders. You can define and rename as many cabinets, with as many dossiers, and as many folders, as you like.

In this example, the user has added user-defined fields like issues, maintenance cost, service contracts, and available versus used licenses.

list of software applications

As you see, the applications look the same and there is nothing that attracts your attention.

Now we are going to define a color indicator for maintenance cost.

Defining an Indicator

We can define an indicator by choosing Insert Archifact > Indicator on the application menu. See the screenshot below for an example:

insert indicator

After clicking a dialog appears and in the dialog, you can fill in the identification information on the first tab and the rule information (an event, condition, and action) on the behavior tab.

indicator dialog with event condition action information

Here you see a screenshot with the second tab of the dialog that is filled with information: the event, the condition, and the action:

  • Rule Event: onload
  • Rule Condition: software.maintenance-cost > 50000
  • Rule Action :tablecell.background-color = red

More Events, Conditions, and Actions you can use can be found on the Dragon1 Help.

indicator dialog

You can give an indicator a certain scope: a cabinet, a dossier, a folder, a model, or an entity class (like software or visualization). In this example, we did not set the context, so it automatically only works in the folder where you have placed it.

The next time you click a folder in this cabinet and if it contains software applications, the indicator in that folder is running on that data. Below you see the result of this.

Immediately it will draw your attention and you will be focused on dealing with that signal!


In this blog I have shown you how you can make use of a color indicator in the Dragon1 Architecture Repository.

I have shown you how easy it is to create a minimal indicator. Working with indicators like this (for example IT Asset management) saves money and makes you focus to spend time only on the really important things.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. Maybe you are interested in reading other blogs on How to generate an Application Landscape with icons and colors.