Create An Interactive Application Landscape

Benefits of the interactive Application Landscape

An Application Landscape is an important visualization to create if an organization, manager, director or architect wants to lower IT costs by standardization, deduplication and rationalization.

  • Standardization means: reducing the number of application platforms, resulting into applications having to be replaced with the ones for certain functionality that are available for that application platform.
  • Deduplication means: Reducing the number of applications that provide more or less the same type of functionality.
  • Rationalization means: Reducing the number of applications used for anything. Sometimes applications are used wrongly, without license, by mistake, not allowed by company policy or other reasons. By looking at the reasons of using applications often reduction can be established.

Other benefits of using an application landscape diagram to manage IT are: increase of availability, security, integration, and stability and reduce of dependency and vendor lock-in. For instance: How often have you seen an vendor lock in a view?

This all means that creating an application landscape diagram and using it for management leads to cutting costs and saving money. Now it all comes down to creating a diagram with the correct and necessary information.

The Dragon1 definition of an application landscape diagram is a logical functional and/or physical technical overview of all the software applications in the information systems, their modules, objects, interfaces and connections in an organization. But also the platform, operating system, vendor, provider, costs, licenses, usage, functions and services per application

This definition helps with the information we need.

1 Diagram, 10 Views

Normally there is not one application landscape diagram. But for every application landscape view, a separate diagram is made. One of the views is the top level view providing access to the other views. Via the Content Viewer you can surf / click from one view to another. Dragon1 defines 25 default application landscape views. Read the blog here. Here in this tutorial we are going to create three views / diagrams.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives of this tutorial are:

  • Create Dossier Structure
  • Import Data
  • Enter Data
  • Create a Model
  • Link Data to the Model
  • Create Views
  • Create a Visualization Canvas
  • Insert a an Architecture View Layout
  • Create Indicators
  • Getting Popup Dialog Boxes
  • Create Visual Items
  • Publish the Visualization
  • Creating Extra Views and Diagrams

Create a Dossier Structure

The first task is to create a (logical) dossier structure in a cabinet (in your repository) in the Visual Designer. A dossier structure is a tree of logical folders. In these folders your data, models, views and visualizations (diagrams) we are going to create are stored.

To create a dossier structure:

Import Data

Often an organization has an IT Portfolio Management System containing information about application, software and hardware. Make an export of this information. First create a simple file with a few applications and three of four attributes to import. Later create a big file to import if you master all the functionality.

You also have the option to add your own attributes on Dragon1, to fit your imported data better.

To import data:

Enter Data

You do not need to import a file. You can also enter data manually. Or if you have imported data, enrich this data.

To enter data:

Create a Model

To create a model:

Link Data to the Model

To create a model:

Create Views

To create a view:

Create a Visualization Canvas

To create a visualization canvas:

Insert an Architecture View Layout

To insert a an architecture view layout:

Create Visual Items

To visualize the data of a view on a visualization canvas, you need to use a visual item. It is a shape/data placeholder.

To create a visual item:

Create Indicators

To create an indicator:

Getting Popup Dialog Boxes

To get popup dialog boxes:

Publish the Visualization

To publish a visualization:

Creating Extra Views and Diagrams

As discussed you often create a multiple set of views (and per view a diagram). A stakeholder who wants to manage with the application landscape diagram(s) can choose in this way which view is best used in what situation.

To create extra views and diagrams:

Examples Screenshots

Example Screenshot of an Application Landscape.

Embedded Example

Example of the embedded version of an interactive application landscape.