People who are new to Polarion (and even some who are not so new) often take quite some time before they look into the many Polarion extensions available on the Polarion Extension Portal. This is understandable, as it may take a while to understand what sort of added or enhanced functionality might help them.
Extensions range from integrations with other tools, to project templates, to enhancements of out-of-box Polarion features. We hope you'll find the time to explore the portal on your own and see what's there. There is quite a bit, so to help you out, we've decided to point you to at least one extension every month that various people here at Polarion feel is cool and useful. This month's featured extension is called Work Item Live Status.
Why you might want it
As you probably know, every Work Item type in Polarion can have its own workflow control, and workflows are customizable to support virtually any process. Workflows can range from very simple (e.g. Draft > In Review > Approved) to very complex. In all but the simplest workflows, stakeholders often want to understand 2 key things:
What is the "optimal" path from start to finish?
Where in that path is some Work Item right now?
Users who don't have access to Administration can't easily glean this information from the UI, and even administrators need to cogitate a bit in the Workflow Designer to understand it. The Live Status extension neatly reveals this info to everyone on demand.
What it does
After you install the extension (it requires access to the server file system), and administrator can add a flag to each Status in the Workflow Designer which is a state in the "normal" workflow path. Let's consider the Risk type in Polarion's System Engineering sample project, used in Risk Analysis and Risk Management. In the following screenshot, we decided that statuses Draft, Analysis Pending, Actions Taken, and Completed represent the "normal" or optimal path through the process, and so added the "1-" flag to the description, as prescribed in the extension's doc.
After the configuration, any user interested in the optimal workflow of a Risk type Work Item can create a page in the Default space of a project, and paste in the Wiki code provided in the Live Status distribution. The resulting page looks like this:
Now users can query for the ID of any Risk type item, with this result:
The "normal" workflow path for the type is graphically depicted, and color coding reveals where the specified item is currently in that path. Assuming the admin configures the Work Item form per the extension's doc, this same info can also appear in the Tracker for each Risk type item.