There are a few concepts in Insight which you need to master in order to become efficient and fast with Insight configuration, this page is written to describe these concepts in detail.
Let's start from the beginning
When we designed Insight, we knew that this product was going to be rather big and somewhat complex. That put some extra responsibility on us, to explain the product as thoroughly as possible so you can get a good start. We need to go through concepts like Object Schema, Object Type, Object, Attribute Type, Attribute, Reference and here it goes.
1. What is an Object Schema?
To start using Insight, you first of all need to create an Object Schema.
An Object Schema is a collection of Object Types, Attributes, Objects, permissions, icons, references, statuses and automation rules. It can conceptually be seen as an isolated bucket of configurations for a specific purpose. It can roughly be compared to the properties of a Jira Project, although there are some differences between the two concepts. You can create as many Object Schemas as you like and every schema can have its own set of permissions allowing you to hide/show different schemas for different users.
Maybe you want to manage all the marketing and sales assets in one protected schema and all hardware and software assets in another schema.
2. What is an Object and why did you select that particular word?
In the early days we had long discussions on what we should call the "things" that you should be able to manage in Insight. Several names were proposed like entity, item and asset. We are marketing Insight as an Enterprise Asset Management system but we still selected the word Object. The main reason is that Asset might already be mentally referred to as financial assets, hardware assets, software assets and so on. The word Object is more neutral and it also represents Insight better to emphasise that you can use Insight to manage anything.
Different organizations use Insight to track different kinds of objects. Depending on how your organization is using Insight, an object could represent a hardware asset, software asset, customer, employee, license, agreement, marketing asset, etc.
If you use Insight for assets, it's very common and natural that you start calling Objects for Assets, just like you start calling Jira Issues for Tickets. So we can conclude that an Object is an entity that you want to control and manage in Insight, it can practically be anything.
3. What is an Object Type?
To describe an Object we need to allocate attributes to it. The Object Type is where you configure all the attributes needed to set the properties of an Object.
When you create your first Object Type in your empty Object Schema, you must give it a name and an icon. When you create your second Object Type, you are able to choose if this Object Type should use the first Object Type as parent. This way you can create advanced hierarchies of Object Types and that gives you possibilities to work with parent/child configurations and inheritance. Remember that you can easily change your Object Type structure by drag & drop.
An example of an Object Type can be Person.
The Person Object Type would probably need some attributes to describe the people that are going to be created as instances of this Object Type. Attributes like Name, Age, Gender, Eye color etc. might be interesting to describe a person.
4. What is an Attribute?
An Attribute is instanced by an Object Type and serves as data container used as property of an Object. Say what?
An Attribute can conceptually be compared to a Jira Custom Field.
All Objects in Insight have a minimum set of Attributes listed in the table below.
|Key||Each created Object gets a unique Key, just like Jira Issues receive a Key upon creation|
|Name||You always need to specify a name for each Object, just like you need to specify a Summary for a Jira Issue|
|Created||This attribute is read-only and used to track when the Object was created|
|Updated||This attribute is read-only and used to track when the Object is updated|
You can create as many Attributes as you like, per Object Type.
4.1. Available Attribute Types
Attributes can be of different types.
|Attribute Type||Type Values||Description|
|Default||Text||Single line of text|
|Boolean||Boolean data type|
|Integer||Integral data type|
|DateTime||Date & Time picker|
|URL||A web address, starts with http:// or https://|
|Textarea||A multi line text area|
This attribute type makes it possible to reference objects to each other. You also specify the reference type (name and color of reference). 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.
|User||Jira group||By using this type, you will get a drop down list with users belonging to the selected Jira group|
|Group||Jira group||This drop down list makes it possible to select one or more Jira groups in your Jira instance|
|Confluence||Confluence Space||Selectable list of Spaces in a connected Confluence instance|
|Version||Jira Version||Selectable list of already created Jira Versions|
|Project||Jira Project||Selectable list of created Jira Projects|
|Status||One or more statuses|
Statuses can be created on the Object Schema level. These statuses can then be defined in this attribute to generate a drop down list with selectable statuses. 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:
For this particular Status Attribute, you can chose to only enable Running, Incident in Progress and Unresponsive.
5. Meta data comparison - Insight vs. Jira
People who have used Jira for a few years and especially Jira administrators, can usually understand the concepts in Insight right away. It's because there are similarities between the two products when it comes to metadata. The table below is not a full-blown mapping model, it just points out concept similarities even though there are significant differences. This table is just food for thought.
|Jira Concept||Concept Similarity Level||Insight Concept|
|Issue Type||Medium||Object Type|
|Field Type||Medium||Attribute Type|
6. Take the concepts for a spin
Follow this tutorial to get your hands dirty with Insight.
7. Still have questions about the concepts?
Let us know and we will contact you to describe them further.