Backstage Home plugin on Roadie

Published on April 4th, 2022 by David Tuite

The Home plugin provides a view on what’s important to the currently logged in Backstage user.

Until recently, the catalog has been the primary way to interact with Backstage. You could pick a software component from the list, and quickly get a sense of how that component is doing, who owns it etc.

catalog-overview-page

But a single software engineer typically has to manage and track multiple components at once and it seems inconvenient to need to visit the Overview page of each individual component in order to get a sense of what’s happening. Why can’t the info be co-located in one place?

Software engineers don’t just interface with software either. They also need up-to-date information on the latest goings on in their organization, and they even have to (begrudgingly 😃) attend meetings sometime. Shouldn’t Backstage also be plugged into this part of an engineers job?

The pulse of the team

Tackling these problems is the remit of the Home plugin. It’s a Backstage page which you can visit first thing in the morning to take the pulse of the team. It’s a page for bringing together information from many different systems, in a way which is most relevant to you!

Here’s how the Home plugin looks for me in Roadie Backstage:

home-set-up

As you can see, important information from a number of sources here.

  1. I have quick access to the components that I own, and the entities that I have “starred” in the catalog. I frequently use these components when I’m doing Backstage demos, so it’s useful to have them within easy reach.
  2. My calendar is available, thanks to the Google Calendar plugin created by Alex Rybchenko from Box (#9719). I can even click the zoom links to go directly to a meeting.
  3. I can see my open review and pull requests on GitHub. If the team need me to review something, I can see that any time I log into Backstage.
  4. Finally I have a Roadie News widget. This displays content from a static markdown URL hosted on GitHub. It can be used to share organization news or information about upcoming events. We’ve also seen our customers use it to bookmark links to important pages outside Backstage.

Where this is going

The Home plugin is super new but we’re already seeing amazing demand from our customer base.

At Roadie, we’re hard at work producing more widgets for the Home page. We’d love to use this space to display the Jira tickets you’re working on or keep you updated on the builds running on your PRs for example.

Hopefully, a good portion of the 60+ open-source Backstage plugins which already exist will end up having Home widgets added.

Once this community work happens, the vision of having a single place to get the pulse of your org, your team, your software and your own work will be realised.

Learn more

The Home plugin is available to all Roadie Backstage users. You may need to enable it in you Administration area before it is visible.

Learn more in our Home plugin documentation.

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