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Structure Concepts, Developer's Perspective

This article provides an introduction to the main concepts used in Structure. Before starting your work on integration with Structure, please familiarize yourself with these concepts.

Basic Concepts Overview

ConceptShort DefinitionAPI Classes to Check
StructureA named container for a hierarchical list.

Structure, StructureManager

ForestA hierarchical list.

Forest, ForestService

RowA row is a unique, atomic element of a forest.

StructureRow, RowManager

ItemAn item is a user-level object (like Issue) that is displayed in a row.

ItemIdentity, CoreIdentities

AttributeAn attribute provides values of a certain type and meaning for forest rows.AttributeSpec, StructureAttributeService
ColumnA column loads one or more attributes and displays information about forest rows.ViewSpecification
ViewA view is a named collection of columns.StructureView, StructureViewManager

Important points:

  • Structures are the main entities provided by Structure add-on. A structure has name and other attributes, like description, and it also has content, represented by a forest.
  • A forest represents a structure's content. But it can also represent a result of a query or a hierarchical list received or stored somewhere else.
  • Forest contains rows. Forest content is actually a list of pairs (row ID, depth).
  • A row has a numeric ID that uniquely identifies it in a forest. A forest may not contain the same row twice. (Although a row may be present in different forests.)
  • When users look at a structure, they see a grid – each row in that grid is represented by a Structure's row.
  • A row refers to an item. An item is an abstraction for everything that can be placed into a forest – issues, folders, projects, users are all items, from Structure's perspective.
  • An item has item identity – something that uniquely identifies that item on a JIRA instance.
  • An item also has attributes – some values with associated meaning, which Structure and its extensions can provide and that can be shown to the user.

A Note on Extensibility

Structure is built with extensibility in mind. It is possible for a separate add-on to add new item types, attributes, columns and other extensible elements to Structure, at runtime.

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