General Concepts » Timelines


Many Elements in cloudstep have a start date and an end date.  These dates are used to render a Timeline of when Elements are active in Scenarios.  The Timeline, when combined with Relationships helps you understand when things happen and how they are related.

Accessing the Timeline

The Timeline is visible for the following types of Elements

You can see the Timeline by clicking on the Timeline tab in the Explorer toolbar.  For complex Elements the Timeline can take a few seconds to render.

The Anatomy of the Timeline

An example of a timeline is shown below:

The Timeline looks a little like a project plan.  Its broken into a series of "lanes" which group information into specific categories:

  • Tombstones.  Tombstones are points in time where Infrastructure becomes redundant in a Scenario.  Any relevant Tombstones are shown with lines down to the 
  • Migration Waves.  Any migration waves are shown as points in time in the Timeline.  They'll help you work out when infrastructure might be ready to retire.
  • Functions.  A list of functions relevant to the Element.
  • Applications.  A list of applications relevant to the Element.
  • Implementations.  Any implementations relevant to the Element.
  • Infrastructure
    • Any directly related Infrastructure  (if the Element is a Function, Application or Implementation)
    • Any infrastructure the Element is dependent on (if the Element in the Explorer is an Infrastructure Element)
  • Projects.  Any projects related to the Element.

What do the colours mean?

The colours of the timeline are important.  A Green part of the bar means that the Element is either not in this scenario or cannot be interacted with.  An Orange bar indicates that for the period of that bar the Element is "shadowed", that is it is not relevant in this Scenario (but may be relevant in other scenarios).  The text in the Orange bars explains why these elements are "shadowed".  Blue bars can be interacted with by changing the start/end dates or moving the bar forward or backwards in time.

You will find that if you change the active Scenario

Interacting with the Timeline

The Timeline is an interactive component.  There are a number of ways you can manipulate the Timeline:

  • Panning.  You can click anywhere that isn't one of the bars and drag.  This will move the timeline forward or backward in time.
  • Zooming. Move te mouse over the timeline, hold the Control key and move the mouse wheel up and down.  This will zoom in or out.
  • Moving Elements.  You can move elements forward and backwards in time by clicking on them and dragging them left (backwards) or right (forwards) in time.  The element will snap to days, months, quarters or years depending on the zoom level.
  • Adjusting timeframes.  You can click on the end or beginning of an Element and move it forwards or backwards in time.  This will adjust the start date or end date accordingly.
And change to a Timeline's start or end date will cause a recalculation of that Element and possibly others.