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 with each other to properly manage the impact of change.

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.

What is Application Integration Management?

Application Integration Management (AIM) is the process of discovering and plotting the relationships and interactions between applications. 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.

To learn about how applications and underlying infrastructure interrelate, head to the Application hosting journey article.

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 business can:

  • Minimize the impact of change

    For example, when retiring or replacing an application, your organization can make decisions that will keep disruptions to a minimum because you will have a full understanding of how applications work together, the resulted impact and cost of change.

  • Increase Transparency and Security

    Transparency allows organizations to make data-driven decisions. For example, the Security team is able to create strong security policies based on how the business operates their IT, rather than generic policies, thanks to the full overview of how their applications work together.

  • Understand how the business operates

    Having a clear documented list of integrations can show you how interconnected and complex the landscape is, and where and how key information traverses the organization. By understanding these nuanced dependencies you can now plan, prioritize and allocate the right resources to the right areas of the business to ensure continuity, value added development and support.

  • Troubleshoot more quickly

    As AIM provides a clear picture of how applications interact with each other, it enables you to identify, at speed, which application is failing, trace back the impact on all other applications and find the quickest path to recovery.

How to Manage Application Integrations in Ardoq

1. Import your data into Ardoq

To visualize the relationships between your applications and understand how they work together, all of their dependent components and references need to be documented in Ardoq.

If you haven’t uploaded the list of your applications in Ardoq just yet, check out the Application Lifecycle Management article here.

If it is impractical to document all of your integrations at once, we recommend uploading the integrations that support your business critical applications first. It will help you focus on the most critical components and references and realize results faster.

Read more on how to document your organization’s architecture and realize value quickly here.

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. With the ServiceNow Integration, you can easily schedule daily or weekly data synchronizations with Ardoq. Otherwise, use the REST-API to automate documentation and keep data up-to-date at all times.

Another way to create references is by clicking the link icon next to the component name, directly in the Navigator Tree. Watch our References video to learn how to.

2. Discover new data

Use Surveys and Broadcasts to document 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 enables you to reach the right people at the right time by using powerful event-driven automation.

3. Visualize your integrations

The most useful view to look at interdependencies and gain contextual understanding of the ecosystem impact is with the Block Diagram. It is extremely helpful when looking at analyzing large data sets in a more structured way and when wanting to view the reference and its metadata.

To better organize your visual in Block Diagram, you can use grouping rules and custom labels that help customize the visual to better surface insights.

Other great views for looking at your integrations include the Relationships view, which lets you see all the references and the component they point to as a dependency graph for the current workspace or component.

There’s also the Swimlane view which shows the components and their references in a structured swimlane visual. This view is often used to look at process flows but can also be used to show integration flows across domains.

4. Report on your integrations

Dashboards is a great way to get a bird’s-eye view of all your integrations to confidently make the right decisions throughout your initiative. For example, if you are planning a major system change or replacement, you can create widgets based on advanced search or Gremlin queries to know how many integrations may be changed and which other systems may be impacted.

Watch our video on how to use Dashboards and find useful Gremlin queries examples here.

5. Analyze the impact of potential change

Now that you have an understanding of what needs to be changed in your architecture, it is the perfect time to design alternate futures with Ardoq’s Scenarios. For example, when you need to consolidate some integrations or replace an application, you can plan how all of the integrations will be replaced. Scenarios creates a safe space to design potential futures that will help you evaluate the impact of change.

6. Keep key stakeholders in the loop

Notify integration owners of any changes in an application and its integrations with Broadcasts Messages. For example, you can build a targeted data quality threshold alert Broadcasts to specifically notify application owners that there’s a data quality issue with an application.

7. Supplement your integration data with additional data set

Now that you’ve established your integration repository you can expand or improve the insights by including additional data elements such as:

  • Integration Type

  • Integration Frequency

  • Integration Protocol

You can create them as custom fields in Ardoq and easily capture different types of data.

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