Guideline: Navigation Views in the UMF
This guideline provides guidelines on how to define navigation views and assign elements to navigation views in the Unified Method Framework (UMF).
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Main Description

The Unified Method Framework (UMF) defines two types of navigation view elements:

  • Configuration-specific, meaning they are intended to be published as part of a specific configuration
  • Common, meaning they are intended to be shared across plug-ins and configurations. The UMF defines navigation view building blocks, which are intended to be used across navigation views, as well as generic navigation views that can be used as-is or in parts in other navigation views.

Where the navigation view elements are defined and how elements are assigned to them is different for each.

Navigation view building blocks are elements that may be used across a number of navigation views. The UMF navigation view building blocks categorize method elements by "types" as defined in the meta model (i.e., roles, tasks, artifacts, deliverables, outcomes, checklists, guidelines, capability patterns, delivery processes, etc), as well as some other key ones (e.g., release information). The navigation view building blocks are defined as custom categories in Navigation View Definition plug-ins, where they can be shared across plug-ins. If you want to define additional navigation view building blocks, define an Extends plug-in that includes the new building blocks and include the new building blocks in a custom category that contributes to the base navigation view building blocks custom category. Using such "super custom categories" will keep the list of top-level custom categories from getting too long.

Generic navigation views are navigation views that may be applicable in multiple configurations. They are also defined as custom categories in Navigation View Definition plug-ins, where they can be shared across plug-ins. Generic navigation views assemble navigation view building blocks into something that can be used as a whole or in parts as a publishable navigation view. For example, a generic navigation view can be used to provide a view of everything in the configuration. These navigation views can be used for specific method configurations as-is, or tweaked to address the specific needs of the configuration (e.g., extend/replace it or ignore and build their own). The benefits of sharing navigation view elements is that you automatically get consistent navigation views.

Configuration-specific navigation views are defined as custom categories in the Publish plug-in for the configuration that is to be published. The configuration-specific navigation views indicate what elements elements (or navigation view building blocks) are to be included. When defining a configuration-specific navigation view, you can:

  • Create a new view using existing navigation view elements
  • Reuse the common generic navigation view, replacing and/or adding to selected elements, as needed.

Custom categories that are designed to be navigation views should include "view" in the name. Also, the custom categories that represent the navigation view tabs for the configuration should be "packaged" in a parent custom category with "view tabs" in the name. This makes it easy to identify the custom categories that have been designed to serve as the navigation views for the configuration.


The UMF also defines a “Do Not Publish” category. It is also defined as a custom category in Navigation View Definition Base plug-ins, where it can be shared across plug-ins. Plug-ins can map specific method elements to this custom category to keep the elements from being published. This category is especially useful for publish plug-ins that are constructing custom views for publishing. The elements in this category should be removed from all publishable configurations. For more information on publishable configurations, see Concept: Practice Library Configuration Types.

For more information on the UMF plug-in types (e.g., Navigation View Definition plug-ins, Publish plug-ins, etc.), see Concept: Practice Library Plug-In Types.

For an example of how navigation view elements are implemented in the UMF, see UMF Navigation View Example.

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