From lean startups to large, complex businesses, all organizations rely on multiple applications to operate, and it’s critical to know how these applications interact to manage the impact of change properly.

Application Integration Management in Ardoq helps you understand what has been or potentially could be impacted, mitigate the effect of issues on your customers and notify your key stakeholders about who should take action.

Table of Contents:


What Is Application Integration Management?

Application Integration Management (AIM) is the process of discovering and plotting the relationships and interactions between applications that realize business capabilities. In other words, AIM allows you to understand and visualize how data flows through your organization.

The result is a full overview of application interdependencies, so you can quickly identify the relevant applications and their integrations when an issue arises or change happens.

Why Is Application Integration Management Important to Organizations?

The greatest benefit of Application Integration Management is the increased visibility across the entire application portfolio. This comprehensive view of the portfolio means your organization can:

  • Easily manage and discover all application interfaces used across departments.

  • Understand the impact of change through dependency mapping.

  • Establish a clearer annual budgeting and planning process.

  • Standardize interfaces and ensure compliance.

  • Achieve better alignment through collaboration.

  • See the linkages to business capabilities and strategies through a centralized repository.

  • Lay the foundation for subsequent steps in its Enterprise Architecture Plan, such as Data Architecture and Data Flow.

How to Manage Application Integrations in Ardoq

1. Define the Problem and Establish a Criteria for Success

Successful Application Integration Management (AIM) begins by defining the business problems you wish to solve, breaking up the application portfolio into pieces and focusing on the most important parts first.

For example, some business concerns AIM can help answer are:

  • What is the complexity of my business capability realization?

  • What is the impact of change?

  • What is the data that passes between systems?

  • What are my integration technologies and properties?

  • Who are the owners and experts of each integration?

2. Identify the Data You Need and Import It Into Ardoq

There are 2 approaches available for capturing application interfaces; either capture all interfaces as separate child components, or represent all interfaces by a single child component. Ultimately, the approach you choose depends on the amount of detail you need to capture.

Our recommendation is to also capture data on people and the relationships they have with those integrations. Knowing who the experts are for an integration and who owns it will help you get more detailed integration metadata.

There are several ways to bring your data into Ardoq. You can manually create components and references by using the Grid Editor, or you can easily import them using any of the following integration methods:

The Excel importer is a fast and easy way to bring your data into Ardoq. You can use it to update your data whenever you need to without duplicating existing components or references. If you include interfaces in ServiceNow, you can easily schedule daily or weekly data synchronizations with Ardoq. To take your list of users from Azure Active Directory (AD) and populate your existing people data into your Ardoq workspace, set up our Azure AD People Data integration. Otherwise, you can also use the REST-API to automate documentation and keep data up-to-date at all times.

3. Visualize Your Data

The Block Diagram is the most useful view for examining interdependencies and gaining contextual understanding of the ecosystem impact. It is also extremely helpful when analyzing large data sets in a more structured way and when you need to view a reference and its metadata.

ardoq visualize data

To better organize your visual in Block Diagram view, you can use grouping rules and custom labels that help organize it for creating better insights. Similarly, you can use ‘Expand all’ or ‘Collapse all’ to view more or less granular detail on your integrations.

Other great views for looking at your integrations include the Relationships view and the Dependency Map. The Relationships view lets you see all the references and the components they point to in a dependency graph for a given workspace or component.

ardoq relationships view

The Dependency Map allows you to easily see relationships or hierarchy in a compact nested visual. It is ideal for showing the breakdown of the people and departments responsible for different applications and interfaces.

ardoq dependency map

4. Assess Data Completeness

Now that you’ve established your integration repository, it is time to identify any gaps. To do so, you can create queries and build dashboards that will help you collate action items by aggregating and summarizing your data.

There are 2 types of queries you can use:

  • Advanced Search: A simple but powerful way to sort and find relevant data in Ardoq.

  • Gremlin query: A graph traversal language for more complex queries that leverage the capabilities of underlying graphs.

ardoq application integration

Here are some prebuilt data quality queries based on the AIM metamodel:

Advanced Search:

  • Interfaces missing protocol

  • Interfaces missing data

  • Interfaces missing Lifecycle Phase

  • Interfaces that require review

Gremlin queries:

  • Interfaces missing owner references

g.V().hasLabel(‘Interface’).

not(inE(‘Owns’))

  • Interfaces missing expert references

g.V().hasLabel(‘Interface’).

not(inE(‘Is Expert In’))

  • Number of Integrations

g.E().hasLabel(‘Connects To’).count()

5. Collaborate To Fill In the Gaps

Use Surveys and Broadcasts to canvass key stakeholders across your entire organization to discover new dependent components and references. Surveys are a fast and easy way to gather any kind of application data, while Broadcasts enable you to reach the right people at the right time by using powerful event-driven automation.

ardoq salesforce crm

You can build your own surveys or use our prebuilt surveys relevant to AIM:

  • AIM - Application Integration Mapping Survey (Request/Response): To identify where applications obtain data from and if they do.

  • AIM - Application Integration Owner & Expert Survey: To capture interfaces, documenting owners and experts in the organization.

  • AIM - Application Interface Details Survey (To Interface Experts): To collect the metadata of the interface, such as protocol, lifecycle and costs.

To quickly find these prebuilt surveys, navigate to the Surveys module located on the left side navigation bar and enter the name of the survey you’d like to use into the search bar there.

6. Analyze the Results of Your Surveys

Generate further insights by creating additional queries to aggregate and summarize your survey data. Below are some examples of prebuilt searches and queries you can use:

Advanced Search for API Interfaces:

Advanced Search for ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) Interfaces:

Gremlin Queries for Incoming & Outgoing Integration Count:

Use these queries to find out how many integrations are connected to interfaces, and understand how many systems are connected.

  • Incoming integration count:

g.V(ids).

project('id', 'name', 'value').

by(id).

by('name').

by(

__.in('ardoq_parent').

hasLabel('Interface').

in('Connects To').count())

  • Outgoing integration count:

g.V(ids).

project('id', 'name', 'value').

by(id).

by('name').

by(out('Connects To').hasLabel('Interface').count())

Gremlin Queries for Calculated Data:

Not every stakeholder wants to see a detailed application integration mapping diagram. With the calculated data flow field set on the “Connects to” references, you can visualize the data field value from the interface component on to the reference.

g.E(ids).

project('id', 'value').

by(id).

by(

inV().

out('Supplies').

hasLabel('Data Entity').

values('name').

fold().

map{ it.get().join(', ') })

7. Present Your Insights

You are now almost ready to take your insights to your organization and aid decision making. Before presenting to any stakeholders, we recommend having a good understanding of:

  • Who your audience is so you can visually present the data in the most relevant way to them.

  • Which problems you are trying to solve and whether you have solved them so you can ensure your visuals align with your objectives.

  • How the AIM initiative has helped in this process so you can demonstrate its value.

  • What the next steps are for you and the organization so you can propose the best path forward.

Our prebuilt dashboards and presentations for Application Integration Management already highlight some key metrics and visuals. These can be customized to meet the needs of your organization.

ardow presentations

8. Maintain Your Data

Make sure your data is always up-to-date by sending Broadcasts at predetermined intervals. This will help ensure that your insights are accurate at all times, building trust and confidence in the architecture team.

We have several prebuilt broadcasts that are set to collect data every 12 months. However, you should determine the appropriate interval for your organization based on how often changes are likely to occur.

ardoq broadcasts
Did this answer your question?