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9 Posts authored by: am1 Champion

5 Awesome Features of 15.4

Posted by am1 Champion Apr 15, 2018

Late putting this together, but here are my thoughts on the 5 best features 15.4 has delivered:


1. Roadmaps - timeline

We now have a great new module to help your teams plan work in a simpler and more intuitive way.

The roadmaps are perfect for simple top down planning which you are likely doing already via powerpoint



The timeline view allows you to simply draw the item and position it across time, if we switch to the grid view we can easily assign virtual groupings then use these groupings in the timeline later!

This module really needs it's own write up as there are a lot of features here!

2. Roadmaps - board

Before we move on from roadmaps, one of the best features in this area is the "board".

This allows you to not only plan your work across time, but also then manage your work in the familiar kanban board.

I think this works really well.

You can use the swimlanes however you want, example above on how we could use them to facilitate a portfolio planning process


3. Risks and Issues - finally in the new UX

Finally the risks and issues are in the new UX, these are really simple to create and manage in a "Risk Log" format that every PM already does inside excel.

I think project managers will appreciate the ease of use and ability to have conversations inside the instance.

4. GDPR - Resource anonymisation

After installing the PII content, you will be able to run a new job that scrambles Personally Identifiable Information from CA PPM. 

This is required to comply with the GDPR which becomes law on the 25 May 2018. Compliance is required for any international firm data processing in the European Union.

If you run the process on a resource their data is obfuscated in the following tables.




You must also consider data that has been sent or extracted to other systems, i.e. your custom data warehouse will need to purged of the PII too.


read more here… 



I may do a write up or webinar if anyone is interested


5. Trend Reporting for Custom Attributes

15.3 introduced trend reporting for stock attributes, but many companies buy CA PPM for the ease of configuring new attributes. This new capability adds trend reporting to your custom attributes.

Customers can use this to build reporting and KPIs



Bonus - Export to CSV

We've finally got a CSV export option in ppm. Now we can export without the dreaded excel data type warning!


Hope you enjoyed my round up of new features, there's plenty more that was delivered so take a look at the official release notes

Release Information - CA PPM - 15.4 - CA Technologies Documentation 



In this blog I will show how to link multiple lookups and even the OBS to limit another lookup, all without saving.

You can use this for a number of situations and really improves the user experience over static dependent lookups.



  • Limit values shown to user
  • Limit values which trigger processes


Time to read:5 minutes

Level: Advanced




I found this technique a few years back looking at the "Looking Mapping" object, Aurora has done the community a great favour by documenting it so I'll just expand on some more tips.

Today I will expand Aurora's work by showing some advanced techniques.


Step 1: Plan what you need your lookup(s) to do

In this example we are going to limit a sub lookup to a parent AND OBS. We can of course make this much much more complicated so don't let this limit your creativity.

You can also use it to display HTML or execute javascript based on prior conditions. 

Step 2a: create a OBS selector


EXAMPLE: this allows ether "all department" or the value.



prj_obs_units obs
INNER JOIN nbi_dim_obs nobs ON nobs.obs_unit_id =
obs.type_id = 5000001
1 AS id,
NULL AS parent_id,
'All Department' AS name,
'ALL' AS path,
1 AS hierarchy_level


Step 2b: Create your lookup mapping object

I suggest this format, note in my simple example OBS and parent value are single values.

My real world use case needed multi value lookups, i.e. 1 value in the map for many parents and many departments




  • Internal ID - the ID to be sent into the object, not shown in UI
  • ID - set up the ID to be autoID
  • Name - rename to "parent lookup ID" - this is where you will capture which parent lookup mapping we need
  • Parent lookup ID - the value(s) that this child value should show for
  • Child Value - the value to show for this parent. (ether a lookup or a hardcoded value)
  • OBS Value - a lookup returning valid OBS value(s), we show the name for humans but Intneral ID is stored
  • is active - should the value show  in the pick list


These steps are covered in depth by Aurora, so i'm just showing the highlights

Step3: Create your lookup

The trick is that we can add more params and seems to be unlimited, only constrained by your ability to program the map and SQL in the lookup

Again if you add multi value lookups you will have much more complexity to code, this example is a single value lookup.



Step 4: Create your attribute in the object

For each param you need to map the values in. OBS appears as a a odf_****** value



Now you've done this you will have the lookup values constrained by OBS and the parent value WITHOUT saving.




Hope you find this useful.


As always this code is untested and you use it at your own risk

Introduction to blueprints

15.3 is here and one of the best new features is "blueprints", which is best described as a configuration utility

This provides the blueprint administrator an easy way to configure "custom" views per blueprint then apply this to projects.

Official documentation doesn't seem to be published right now so I thought I do a quick write up and a video for you

Official documentation is now available

Configure Project Blueprints [CA PPM- SaaS]

Configure Project Blueprints [CA PPM]

What is it?

A way to apply configuration in a simple way. This blends the best parts of page layouts and removes the need for partitions to provide different views of the project. 


So how does it work?

Each project is associated to a blueprint, the layout shown is then as per this blueprint.

When the project is created from template the blueprint  associated is taken across with it. We can update this blueprint association if we need to. 


How do I configure blueprints?

Firstly the user has to be an administrator for the administration icon to show in the new UX

They also need to have the new rights for blue prints, particularly Blueprint - Edit

Once that's done the user can edit and view blueprints.



Bonus: Configuring custom attributes onto the detail page

1. Make sure attribute has a valid api id in old UX (object in studio)

Do not add underscore (_) to the API ID


2. Go back to blueprints, attribute now displays



3. Note the following attribute types cannot be added

URL, Large string (CLOB), TSV, static dependent lookups



FAQ for blueprints

Q. How do I configure the conversations (or resource, task, kanban etc)

A. Blueprints as of 15.3 can only configure parts of the project (details page, project card and what tabs shown). It is expected that in the future this will be expanded to other areas.


Q. How do blueprints get "attached" to the project

A. When a project is created from a template, the blueprint associated at that time will come across with it.

If you don't configure the templates then the default is used. We can update blueprints associated to the project.


Q. Do blueprints take into account partitions?

A. No


Q. If I change the blueprint association to templates does it automatically change the projects blueprint association too?

A. No, you need to update the projects. (via api or manually)


Q. Can I change a blueprint of a project once created?

A. Yes, just make sure "blueprints" attribute is shown on the blueprint, then the user can update the blueprint to something else.


Q. Can this be done per project, i.e. can my PM's configure their own views?

A. No, it's per blueprint. Feasibly we could create endless blueprints, but only an administrator can configure so the PM wouldn't be able to update.


Q. Can we add custom attributes?

A. Yes, just make sure to provide an API key and they will appear


Q. What type of fields can't be added to details?

A. URL, Large string (CLOB), TSV, Static Dependant lookups



Hope you find this of use and please get in touch if you need help




5 Awesome Features of 15.3

Posted by am1 Champion Sep 10, 2017

15.3 has just been released, below is a round up of my favourite new features in CA PPM.


1. Blueprints

Blueprints provides the ability to configure the layout of the project in a very easy way and allows configuration of the "detail" page per blueprint.

This means we can have simple task projects or full fat projects with everything enabled, it's up to you how to use it.

Excited to see how this will evolve for other areas of the product


2. New project list layout

In 15.3 the project list has new colours and the ability to drill right into a project section such as conversations. The project card can be configured in blueprints making it great for different business units use cases.


3. Introduction of Financials (existing plans)

We can now view existing plans inside the new UX. The default shown is the plan of record and we have some very exciting new views which make financials simple. The ability to drag and drop groupings and apply filters is great!


official documentation

New User Experience: Manage Financial Plans - CA PPM - 15.3 - CA Technologies Documentation 


4. Transaction Review - Ability to drill into actuals in the financial plan

We now have the ability to click on any actual value and drill into the transactions associated. 

You can do this at cell, row or column level. I.e. the resource, month, year, total

This makes it very handy if PM wants to question transactions without leaving their plan.


5. Kanban task board


Finally in CA PPM we have a kanban board view, which is a visual way to represent task status and progress.

You can use this many ways such as task progress or even "ownership" lanes, since they can be renamed and deleted.

Colours and owner can be applied and we can have a conversation in the task without leaving. On top of that we still have the "phase view" and now even the traditional gantt a click away.




15.3 offers the enterprise customer a fantastic fresh way of managing modern projects. 

These are just some of the many new features and I hope you get to enjoy them soon!

Please get in touch with your CA account team for a demo



Official documentation

CA PPM - CA PPM - 15.3 - CA Technologies Documentation 



Videos and photos removed for now!

How to create a mailto hyperlink in portlets

Time to read 1 minute



Create an NSQL query like below



Add a link


Create a portlet from the query


Create a virtual attribute in layout


Click Next

Choose Send Email and the link you created and save


Add that virtual image to the portlet and when you click on the link....


email and subject populated as you want


5 Awesome Features of 15.2

Posted by am1 Champion Mar 13, 2017

15.2 is finally out and there are so many good new features, especially for the resource manager.

Here are 5 of the best. Enjoy


Don't forget to read through the CA first look blogs too.

PPM Insights: FIRST LOOK at CA PPM 15.2’s Enhanced Time and Work Transparency 

PPM Insights: FIRST LOOK at CA PPM 15.2’s Resource Management 

PPM Insights: FIRST LOOK at CA PPM 15.2’s Adaptive Project Management and Conversations 

The specified item was not found. 


1. Improved conversations

We can now reply back to a conversation and even mention a user

Notification appears for the user and can navigate to project easily



mention @team to notify all of the team



2. Resource Management Telescope

A new feature added is the "telescope", this makes it easy to find over and under allocation and even drill into the problem period(s). 

It can be configured for different tolerances by the user.


3. Password reset module

In the new UX we finally have a password reset ability, that doesn't involve contacting support. (non SSO)


enter your username and press "send email", simple.


4. New document management


In the project we now have a way to share and organise documents

we can tag and even search


5. Resource Management - Pinning resources

The new resource management makes it easy to update and manage allocations, it makes it even easier with the ability to pin resources.  Think of these as your favourites which need frequent intervention.


simply find the resource and pin



Hope you enjoyed this quick round up of best features, but there's so much more in this release. Please take a look at the full documentation

CA PPM - CA PPM - 15.2 - CA Technologies Documentation 


Tableau Part 1 - Getting Started

Posted by am1 Champion Jan 13, 2017

There's been a lot of hype for using Tableau with CA PPM, but not much written about how to actually get started.

By the end of this tutorial you will have a simple project dashboard pulling data directly from CA PPM.


Before we go any further if you haven't already seen it, check out the recent community webcast from Altrice

CA PPM NY/NJ Quarterly Web Share -Tableau Integration with CA PPM 14.2 


What is Tableau?

Tableau is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool which is super easy to use for both admin and user. It enables you to build beautiful dashboards and reports, from a variety of data sources and share them effortlessly.

It's an alternative to jaspersoft and sadly this isn't included in your licence agreement for CA PPM so you need to purchase separately


Here's an example of what you can do

Example 1: Record Breaking Coasters | Tableau Public 

Example 2: Earth quake story


What do I need?

There are two main components

  • Tableau server - Where end users can view dashboards/reports,and edit existing
  • Tableau desktop - a poweruser tool to build datasources and dashboards, then uploaded to the server to view


Ok, so how do I get Clarity data into tableau?

We have a number of different strategies we can use to get data into the tool and how to shape it before.

In the example below i'll show step by step how to get data from an on-premise instance directly. If you are on-demand, since the database isn't accessible we'd have to approach a different way i.e. webservices from a query 


Example - a very simple on-premise project dashboard - time to build 5 minutes



  • Set up a read only user (i.e. tableau_user) in your database
  • Have tableau server set up with a site and the correct permissions
    • if you don't have the server then you can still build but not share it "online"
  • Install tableau desktop
    • trial can be used for this example


Click new and open a workbook

Select datasource tab at the bottom

Build the datasource - in this case a microsoft SQL server

  • We can now build the datasource by:
    • adding the tables and joining together
    • custom SQL
    • Use a view/dwh pre-complied with the data in the format you need
  • let's start with a simple example of adding inv_investments to the datasource
  • Drag it over.  Notice the connection is Live (we'll visit extraction strategy later)
  • add a filter so only project data returns
  • Now go to the workbook

  • Let's build a simple chart of number of projects by goal
    • drag goal into the rows
    • drag number of records measure into the grid
  • Should end up with something like this:
  • Click the Horizontal Bars in "Show me"
  • We'll end up with something like this
  • We'll add one more, so add a new workbook and have some fun (I built a simple gantt in a few mins)
  • Now place these onto a dashboard 
  • save the workbook and publish it to your server
  • You'll now see the dashboard in the server and can share it with stakeholders



The tool is incredibly powerful and there's so much more we can do than i've shown.

We can even integrate inside Clarity, automate user creation/groups.


  • How does your organisation use it?
  • What are you looking for that is missing in jaspersoft?


Hope you found this interesting and educational


5 Awesome Features of 15.1

Posted by am1 Champion Sep 7, 2016

15.1 is finally here and with it comes a great new UX, so no surprise in my top 5 they feature highly!


what features are you most excited for?


1. New UX - An interactive status report

The user can re-arrange or hide the status widgets as they want. 

This is great and I'm looking forward to how it will evolve over the coming releases





Oh and it auto saves


2. New UX - Timesheet populate options

When you go to complete your timesheet you now get an option asking you what you want to do

Which results in the timesheet completed like last week


3. New UX - Timeshet Approval Kanban

In the new UX we not only have a great new timesheet but an even easier to use timesheet approval area. 

  • We can see the timesheets across their various states and send reminders

  • Have conversations with the resource about the timesheet


even view a little summary of the resources timesheet



4. New UI - Ability to have conversations in the project

The team can collaborate via conversations in an easy way. 

This is looking great, but i'd like to see this implemented too.New UX - Ability to link/reply to conversations 


5. Ability to turn on user tracing with zero effort

You can now turn user tracing on by simply navigating to the user account and setting the required value

a tracing log (app-trace.xmlis then populated in the log folder and can be used for investigation


*this can have a performance impact so as per the warning,  use only under the direction of CA Support.




Release notes

You can find the full release notes of all the new features and changes here

Release Notes - CA PPM - 15.1 - CA Technologies Documentation 

Following on from Dave_3.0's legendary tip, we can use this to auto refresh a object instance

One of CA PPM's annoyances to users is refreshing the object instance once a process has run.

This method can take care of where a user changes a value and you need a refresh to see the results of the process.


Video pre and post


How to replicate - basic example

  • Create a new object

  • create a few attributes, one boolean and one string

  • create a new dynamic lookup - this will execute the refresh script when we want it to

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1">  won't work for all browsers, this is just for example!

t.refresh = 1 is the condition to refresh, but it can be anything


Unfortunately <script> will be removed by Clarity, so javascript approach to refresh won't work.

Update: It's possible to call javascript if you want, i'm sure you can figure out the way

CASE WHEN t.refresh = 1 THEN '<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1">' ELSE ' ' END refresh
FROM odf_ca_test_refresh t
SELECT to_char(' ') refresh from DUAL
) x
  • create a lookup on the object as detailed in the tip and add it to the object

I have the refresh lookup text hidden in case you wonder where it is!

  • create a simple process that is triggered when refresh boolean attribute = 1

  • updates the string value to "hello world" and resets the refresh flag (to stop the refreshing!)