Installation

Installing the TechRadar-Plugin for Confluence should be straight forward. Login as administrator and choose the Add-ons entry of the settings menu in the upper right corner.

In the upcoming screen choose Upload add-on where you'll have the possibility to pick a locally available JAR-file or reference a plugin via URL.
After choosing and uploading the plugin the TechRadar is installed - clickin' the Configure-Button in the resulting plugin entry you can directly switch to the TechRadar Access Control dialog. Additionally, you should have a dedicated Manage TechRadar Users entry in the left hand menu of your Confluence administration which also leads you to the Access Control dialog. 

Using the Access Control dialog an administrator is able to give specific users or complete groups of users the right to define and manage radar instances. Without that additional right an ordinary confluence user is only able to visit radar instances through the TechRadar menu entry in the main navigation.

 

Configuration

After a fresh installation you obviously don't have any stored data and your radar is empty (more specific, it does not exist yet). In order to create a new radar go to the Manage TechRadar entry of your user-menu (to see this menu entry your administrator have to explicitly authorize you - see installation).

 

Notice: Since the radar is provided on an organizational level currently only specifically authorized users or administrator are able to configure and manage radar instances (see installation).

In order to create a new radar instance (we call a concrete radar an instance since you're able to create and manage several independent radars - a specific is called an instance) just hit the Add New button - the result is shown in the following screenshot:

The newly created radar will immediately appear in the drop-down menu and its title will be "New Radar" by default.
You can change the title and/or add a description for this specific instance (which will be shown in the instances help-menu) and/or define the arc-distance. This is the only indication of size you'll have to make - based on that value, which is specified in pixels, the whole radar gets layouted. So, as the screenshot suggests, the radius of the complete radar will be number_of_arcs times the defined arc_distance. As a proven default 80 pixels will be assumed.

 

Arc-Configuration

This will be the next block of your radar-definition. Again it's totally up to you how many arcs you define - but 4 arcs as proven to provide good categorization means.

To define an arc just hit the Add New button next to the Arc Definitions headline:

 

The title is directly shown within the radar in order to identify the respective ring.
The Order-value determines the position of the arc where 1 is the inner-most arc, 2 would be the next and so on. Compared with the example shown in the screenshots Tails would be the central arc.
Finally the description of the arc should give an explanation what qualifies a spot to be placed within that arc. The description text will be shown in this radars help.

 

Quadrant-Configuration

The title will be printed along the quadrant to identify it. The coordinates (is it the upper right or the lower left quadrant) are specified through starting- and ending-angles - just to give you an orientation:

  • 0-90: upper right
  • 90-180: upper left
  • 180-270: lower left
  • 270-360: lower right
 

Spot-Configuration

And finally - you'll have to define spots. A spot consists of a title, which is shown in the textual addition of the radar, and an URL where you can get more information about the topic this spot represents.

Besides this one-time information you have to provide at least one placement for each spot. A spot can move over time within the radar and this fact is represented by placments. For each placement you'll have to provide a textual description where you can explain what are the reasons for that placement. This text will be shown when the user activates a specific spot or when its history will be shown.
Additionally, a placement needs coordinates - an angle and a radius (which represents a pragmatic way for flexible positioning).
Since we won't keep track only of the why, we should also complement the placement with a date of creationtimestamp (which will be automatically generated for you - you shouldn't need to manipulate it manually).

You can add as many placements as you'd like. In fact, the longer the history of a specific spot is, the more information is contained in that piece of data.

 

Usage

The usage should be quite self-explanatory. As soon as there are more than one radar instance defined a secondary navigation will appear which allows you to switch between the specific instances (in case you're an administrator you'll always see a secondary navigation in order to directly go to the management page).

When hovering over a spot that spot gets highlighted (and the others will be dimmed out). If you keep your mouse pointer over that highlighted spot (and there is a history for that spot) the historical placements will be faded-in as well to give you an idea of where that spot came from.
This highlighting mechanism does not only work on spots within the radar but also on their textual representation - which is located, depending on your screen size, either next to, or under the radar.

When clicking on a single spot the textual description will appear with an explanation why the spot exists at that specific position. If a URL was provided for that spot you can directly jump to the homepage (or whereever the URL points you to) or you can activate the history. The latter will show you chronological history of the placements.
If there is only one single placement (which means the spot was not reviewed yet but just added) the entry gets flagged as new and the spot is filled with green color.