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Understand the fundamental concepts of Insight - objects, object types, attributes, references (inbound and outbound).

Understand how Insight can be used in different situations - ITSM, HR, and IT - to manage and automate business processes.

Learn how these concepts come together into a complete object schema.

In this article

Insight is a complex and powerful tool that is based around a few simple concepts. In order to use the full capacity of Insight, it's important to understand these concepts and how they are related. Insight is based upon the concept of objects, which are organized into different object types with unique attributes, and grouped into object schemas.


Objects are the fundamental units of Insight. An object is a digital representation of anything that you are mapping in Insight. This could be a physical asset, a digital asset, a piece of data, or even an employee. You can create as many objects as you like.

You can create many different types of objects in Insight. For example, you might create an object to represent an employee or a file system, as below.

An object that represents an employee.

An object that represents a file system.

There are many ways to create objects in Insight. You can create objects manually, or you can create them automatically using our integrations, imports, synchronization, or automation features.

Object types

An object type is a group containing objects with similar information. You can create as many different object types as you like.

Each object is different, but objects of the same object type will contain similar kinds of information. For example, this list of objects are all of the type File System, and contain information about the name of each file system, where its mounted, the size and capacity of the file system, and its current status.

A group of nine objects of the object type File System.

Object types can have both parents and children, which allows you to structure different object types in a tree and even inherit some information from parent object types.


Attributes represent a single piece of information about an object. Each object type can have different attributes that can be customized to that object type. You can create as many attributes as you like.

For example, the employee object below contains a name attribute "Aaron Anderson", as well as a role, salary, address, phone number, and so on.

An object that represents an employee in an HR object schema. Some of the attributes of this object are listed.

Every object type must contain four default attributes. These are:

  • Name - Name is the default Label for an object, although you can select a different attribute as a label if you wish. Name is a required field.
  • Key - Each created Object gets a unique key. Key is a required field.
  • Created Date - This attribute is read-only and used to track when the Object was created.
  • Updated Date - This attribute is read-only and used to track when the Object is updated.

Attribute types

Every attribute has a specific type that details which information an attribute can hold.

For example, an attribute of type Text is best for holding text information, while an attribute of type Integer is best for holding information in the form of whole numbers, and so on. There are eight attribute types, and each type can hold a number of different possible types of value. Here's the full list:

Attribute TypeType ValuesDescription
DefaultTextSingle line of text.
BooleanBoolean data type.
IntegerIntegral data type.
FloatFloating point.
DateDate picker.
DateTimeDate & Time picker.
EmailEmail address.
URLA web address starting with http:// or https://

A multi line text area.

IP AddressAn IP address.
ObjectObject Type

This is a reference to another object. You can also specify the reference type, which can be useful when configuring custom fields and advanced searches.

This attribute type unlocks Insight to create sophisticated references and structures of objects. Let's say you want to get all your servers into Insight and each server should have have a SLA level specified. This SLA level should be selectable from a predefined list of SLA's. You first need to create an Object Type called SLA Level of Attribute Type Default (Text) and create your SLA Objects (Level 1, Level 2 etc.). You then create an attribute for the server object type called SLA Level and it should be of type Object, it should reference to the SLA Level Object Type. The results will be a drop down list where you can pick the correct SLA level when you create a server.

UserJira groupA drop-down list containing the all users, of all users within a specific Jira group.
GroupJira groupA drop-down containing one or more Jira groups in your Jira instance.
ConfluenceConfluence SpaceA selectable list of spaces in a connected Confluence instance.
VersionJira VersionA selectable list of versions in your Jira instance.
ProjectJira ProjectA selectable list of projects in your Jira instance.
StatusOne or more statuses

Statuses are either created globally (and apply to all object schemas) or created within the object schema (and apply to only one object schema).  After statuses have been added, they can be selected in this attribute to generate a drop down list of possible options.

Let's say that you have defined the following statuses in your Object Schema to be used by different Status attributes for different Object Types:

  • New
  • In Service
  • Decommissioned
  • Running
  • Incident in Progress
  • Unresponsive
  • In Stock

For this particular Status Attribute, you can chose to only enable Running, Incident in Progress and Unresponsive.


References are an attribute type that allows you to store a link to a different object. This is an incredibly powerful feature, because it allows you to build a whole network of interrelated objects of different kinds and pass information between them. For example, you could have an Employee object that is linked to the office they work at, as well as the laptop they use everyday and the host and file systems they maintain. 

You can create as many references as you like - but be careful since they come with a processing cost, and large numbers of references might slow down your instance of Insight.

This object graph shows the outbound references from Acturus, our sample server. The objects that are being referenced will also have an equivalent inbound reference from Acturus.

Outbound references

Outbound references are attributes within an object that point at another object of a specific object type. For example, a Host object might contain references to other important parts of its system in the same object schema, such as an operating system, CPU, Network interface, or Scanning Information.

It's also possible for an outbound reference to contain multiple objects of the same type.

This object - Acturus - contains multiple references to other objects.

Inbound references

Inbound references are references that come from other objects. Each outbound reference creates an inbound reference on the object that it is referencing, which enables you to see how different objects are connected across the schema.

For example, in the image above, you can see the host Acturus references a number of CPUs, including one called Intel(R) Core (TM) i7-4700HQ CPU. If we click on this reference, we see this object and a list of its Inbound references, including the host Acturus.

Arcturus has an attribute referencing the Intel(R) Core (TM) i7-4700HQ CPU. This creates an inbound reference for this object.

There are two types of references - Inbound references and Outbound references.

  • Outbound references are references from the current object to other objects.
  • Inbound references are other objects that refer to the current object. 

It's also possible to reference objects in a different object schema. You must enable the setting Allow others to select objects from this schema to do this.

Inbound references are automatically created and synchronized with their outbound references.

Object schemas

Now you have learned about objects, object types, attributes, and references. All of this comes together in the concept of an object schema, which is simply a collection of objects, object types, attributes, and references, along with other information such as roles, icons, statuses, and automation rules. Object schemas allow you to structure information in a clear manner and organize your data for maximum productivity. 

For example, you might have an HR Object Schema that captures all relevant HR data which adds value to your HR Jira project. This object schema might contain information about employees, workplaces, and business areas, as well as information about employee assets, such as keyboards, monitors, and laptops. These object types could be linked through references, so, for example, when you click on an employee, you immediately the object containing information about their office, their personally-assigned laptop, or their keyboard.

You could organize all of your HR information in this object schema, whether you are managing information for a small startup or a massive enterprise.

This sample object schema for HR contains different object types for offices, employees, keyboards, laptops, and more, organized into two parent object types - Organization and Infrastructure.

Object types can have both parents and children, which allows you to structure different object types in a tree and even inherit some information from parent object types.