thesandbender asks: "I've recently inherited a project to 'simplify' the application environment for a company that has 1600+ service offerings (many of these are product 'foobar' that has options (like 'Alpha', 'Bravo', 'Charlie', and so forth) available. I am trying to map out the applications' dependencies from a technological and a business standpoint. I would like to designate a group of applications as depending on concepts, technologies (like SAN, DB2 and AIX), specific customers (like 'Bravo' and 'Charlie') and legacy applications. Basically, I want to define any number of arbitrary dependencies and then be able to map them out in a graphical format. With those maps I can show the business oriented staff how removing one application will affect other applications, and I can show the technically oriented staff how removing one system will affect other systems or applications. Has anyone in the Slashdot community run across such a tool? If you haven't, have you run across the need for such a tool? What would you want from it so that I can fashion a usable tool that addresses everyone's needs and not just my own?"
"The most appropriate tool-sets I've found to date are 'mind mapping' or 'concept mapping' tools. All of the tools I've found so far only allow me to create any number of ideas or concepts and don't allow for arbitrary, searchable and/or mappable attributes (e.g. Application 'foo' maps to attributes 'SAN', 'Java', 'Solaris' and 'Buy-Side') that would allow me to create hard and soft groupings that were based on defined attributes (e.g. I could ask for a cloud of all objects that share a specific technical attribute, and another cloud of objects that share a specific business attribute)."