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CMDB Sync Preview


When the CMDB synchronization is configured, you can preview the synchronization results for a set of items using CMDB Sync Preview action. This action is available for hosts, network devices, printers, and some other nodes. You can model the graph of the CIs and relationships that will be populated into the CMDB after synchronization.

This topic contains the following information about viewing and managing the CMDB Sync Preview view:

Launching the CMDB Sync Preview

You can open CMDB Sync Preview for a custom set of nodes by selecting them in the object list and then using CMDB Sync Preview action. By default, the CMDB Sync Preview is maximized.

The following example shows the CMDB Sync Preview of a host that was selected manually:

Applying CMDB Filtering

As a part of CMDB Synchronization configuration for any CMDB connection, the data might be filtered to trim the unwanted elements that should not be synchronized to BMC Atrium CMDB.  

As there might be more than one CMDB connection, and filters might vary, CMDB Sync Preview shows data with no filters applied by default.

To see CMDB Sync Preview for the particular CMDB connection, select the necessary CMDB connection in the Apply CMDB Filtering list and click Refresh Filtering. The preview adjusts to mark the filtered data.

Explicitly/implicitly filtered objects

Some CIs might be implicitly filtered if they do not match a filtering condition directly, but have a relationship with a CI that does.

Implicitly and implicitly filtered objects are highlighted on the graph according to the following key:

The remaining controls are the same as those available for the Software and Infrastructure visualizations, though you cannot change away from drag mode, and the Model option is not provided.

When viewing a large visualization, remember that it is still part of the node view page. Information which may be useful while working on a model is available by scrolling down. In full window mode, only the visualization is displayed, so you must exit full window mode using the minimize button. The Application Model Editor always occupies the full window; click Stop Editing to leave the editor.

Visualizations tools set

The following table lists the options you can use to manipulate a visualization and perform modeling tasks.

When you have saved the model, you can also export a model definition. Exported model definitions can be imported using the Model > Applications page.

Icon Description

Drag and select modes

Toggles the mode in which the visualization can be displayed.

In both docked (maximized) and floating (minimized) views, use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out, and drag on the background to move around. On a touch device, pinch to zoom. Double-click inside the view to recenter and zoom the display to fit the window.

Drag mode

Drag the background to move the whole diagram. Drag individual icons to rearrange the view.

Dragging individual icons to rearrange the view is not supported in Internet Explorer version 10.

Select mode
  • Click a node to select it alone. Previously selected nodes are deselected.
  • Shift-click a node to add it to previously selected nodes.
  • Control-click a node to deselect an icon where multiple icons are selected.
  • Click the background and drag around nodes to lasso-select a group of nodes.
  • Hold Shift while dragging the background to add to the current selection with a lasso-select.
  • Hold Control while dragging the background to remove from the current selection with a lasso-select.


Enables you to change the following:

  • Focus of the visualization
  • Background shading to indicate locations and cloud regions
  • Indicators and labels for model definitions and manual groups


Enables you to change between the Visualize - Software - ConnectedVisualize - Software, and the Visualize - Infrastructure views. You can also change between the views using the drop-down selector in the header bar of the software context popup view. In each view, the node that represents the object you are looking at is highlighted. Click a node to view the object page of that node.

Software - Connected

The Software-Connected view focuses on software and communication between items of software and shows some details of the hosts and load balancers involved. This view is the only view from which you can begin application modeling. When you are modeling an application, the Focus section is removed from the Display panel to ensure you remain in the Software-Connected focus.




In the Software focus, the node that represents the object you are looking at is highlighted. The Software view focuses on software and communication between items of software running on a host, and is particularly useful for understanding what is running on a host.


In the Infrastructure focus, the node that represents the object you are looking at is highlighted. The Infrastructure view focuses on the connectivity to network and storage components. It shows the switches a host is connected to, underlying storage for host filesystems, VMs on VM servers, or if the given host is a VM, the server on which it is hosted.


When viewing an Application node, the Application focus shows the contents of the application model, and no other nodes.

Background shading

Displays or hides the background shading around nodes.


No shading
Do not show any background shading.  

Locations and Cloud Regions

Show shaded backgrounds of differing colors for locations or cloud regions.

For location or cloud region nodes, if you set a color attribute, that color is used to display that node. Otherwise, the colors are selected from a built-in color palette. The color attribute is set using CSS color values.

Node colors

Show user specified colors for background shading around nodes.

If you have specified color attributes on nodes in the visualization, the Node colors menu option is displayed. Select Node colors to display the visualization using the colors you have specified. The color attribute is set using CSS color values.

Application Model Updates

When viewing an application model, shows which nodes were in the model when the user last saved it, and which nodes were automatically added by BMC Discovery.

Model Definitions and Manual Groups

Provides options for viewing information node membership of manual groups and model definitions. When you choose to show indicators or labels, the Groups icon is displayed next to the help icon in the top right of the visualization. Click this to see a key to reconcile labels, indicators and groups.


Do not show
Do not show any group or model definition labels or indicators.  

Show indicators

Show indicators. Indicators are small color-coded shapes next to the node icon, a different colored one for each group. Model definitions are shown as triangles; manual groups are shown as circles. Hover the mouse pointer over an indicator to see the name of the model definition or group.


Show labels
 Show colored labels containing the group name.


Displays the ways in which the object nodes can be arranged. Once a layout has been calculated, you can further manipulate the view by dragging nodes, and by expanding and collapsing collections. Choosing the same layout again recalculates the layout, and can lead to a clearer view.

The following options are available under Layout:

Switch wide/tall
Choose a wide or tall layout depending on the shape of the nodes you have selected.


Provides options for laying out the nodes. Experimenting with the layouts can reveal structure in the model.

Spreads nodes using a balance of attracting and repelling forces.


Shows impacting nodes at lower levels on the view than impacted nodes. For example, a host container impacts a contained host, which impacts a software instance. Arrows on the view show the direction of impact.
Root at top
Arranges nodes into a tree view with a root node at the top.
Application layers
Arranges the view into the functional layers of the application. Hosts are in a layer at the bottom of the visualization, and user access points, such as load balancers at the top of the visualization. The application layers control is not available in the Infrastructure view.

Relationship routing

Provides graphical options for routing the relationships between nodes.

Gently curved lines link nodes. The nodes are arranged for clarity, subject to the selected layout.
Lines link nodes using horizontal and vertical section joined by right angle curves.
Avoid nodes
Straight lines link nodes where possible. The lines are curved to avoid crossing nodes.

Choose the node kinds to show. Select the node kinds to show or hide from the list of node kinds shown in the model. Depending on the application that you are modeling, you may see the structure more clearly by hiding certain nodes such as hosts.

You cannot hide Collections. Rather, when all node kinds held in a collection are hidden, the collection itself is no longer displayed.

You can export or print the current view for review at any stage. The images are produced without the associated tools and menus.

When you have saved the model you can export it as a model definition


Print Visualization

To print an image of the current view, click Print Visualization and select a paper size from the drop-down list. The browser print dialog is displayed. You must choose the same paper size in the print dialog.



Export as SVG

To export an SVG image of the current view, click Export and choose SVG.
Export as PNG

To export a PNG image of the current view, click Export and choose PNG.


Export Model Definition

When you have saved the model, you can also export a model definition. Exported model definitions can be imported using the Model > Applications page.


Provides a list of removed nodes and a list of unsaved removal rules. A count of removed nodes and unsaved removal rules is shown on the Removed Nodes icon.

  • Removed Nodes: Removed nodes are grouped by time of removal or node kind. Choose the most useful grouping using the Time/Kind selector. Once a model has been saved, not all nodes that have been removed are displayed here. For example, if a group of nodes are connected to the main visualization by one "joining point", it is only those nodes acting as "joining points" that are listed.
    • You can restore any of the removed node groups to the view by clicking the Restore button against that node grouping.
    • You can expand any of the removed node groups by clicking the + icon preceding the group name.
    • You can restore any of the individual removed nodes to the view by clicking the Restore button against that node.
  • Removal Rules: Unsaved removal rules are grouped by rule type. You can cancel removal rule creation by clicking the undo arrow next to the rule. To save all unsaved removal rules, click Save Rules at the top right of the visualization. If you save the removal rules, they are applied to all visualizations on the appliance.

Opens the current view in the application modeling editor. You can choose to:

  • Start a new model.
  • Add to an existing model.

This option is only enabled in the Software-Connected focus.

Information, zoom and undo/redo controls 

Information, zoom and undo/redo controls are provided at the top right of the screen.



Enables you to undo or redo recent operations. Where no operation can be undone, the undo icon is disabled. Where no operation can be redone, the redo icon is disabled.

Using the keyboard, Control-Z is undo; Control-Y is redo.

When you save removal rules, the Undo/Redo queue is cleared.

Models and Groups
Provides information on any application models and manual groups to which nodes in the view belong. The Models and Groups icon is only displayed when show indicators or show labels is selected.


Shows a key for the symbols used in views.

Zoom slider

Click + to zoom in and - to zoom out. Or drag the slider up or down respectively.

The mouse scroll-wheel can be used to zoom in and out.

To zoom using the keyboard, press '+' or '=' to zoom in, and '-' to zoom out.

Zoom to fit
Click the zoom to fit control to fit the image to the window.

Context sensitive menu options

The following options are available from the context sensitive menu, accessed by right-clicking in the visualization window. When you right-click on a node, the context sensitive menu displays a header with counts of related, removed, and suppressed nodes. See Related, removed, and suppressed nodes in the context sensitive menu for more information.

Menu option


Stop layout updates

Prevents any further layout updates. Sometimes with a large or complex model, the layout may take a long time to stabilize. Select this option to stop the updates.

Select all

Selects all nodes in the view.

Select all 'review suggested' nodes

Selects all nodes in the view that are in the 'review suggested' status. When BMC Discovery detects that an update would cause a large change, it suppresses most of the change, and sets the application model into a state of Review Suggested. See Lifecycle of an application model for more information.

Clear selection

Deselects all selected nodes.

Invert selection

Inverts the current selection. Nodes previously not selected are selected, and the reverse.

Keep only selected

Keep the selected nodes and remove all nodes that are not selected.

Remove selected

Remove the selected nodes.

Undo action

For example, Undo extend model. If you have performed an action, undo it and return to the previous state. You can also use the Undo arrow at the top right of the visualization, or via the keyboard with Control-Z.

Redo actionIf you have undone an action, redo it. You can also use the Redo arrow at the top right of the visualization, or via the keyboard with Control-Y.
Open in new tab/windowOpens the visualization, centered on the selected node, in a new browser tab or window.
Select nodeSelect a node. Available when right-clicking a node which is not currently selected.
Deselect nodeDeselect a selected node. Available when right-clicking a selected node.
Add to selectionAdd the node to the current selection. Available when right-clicking a node which is not currently selected.
Remove node

Remove the node from the view or model definition. Once a node is removed, it is added to the removed nodes list. You can see the removed nodes list by clicking Removed Nodes. The node itself is not affected.

Force to shared

The system automatically identifies software nodes that are likely to be shared by multiple applications, and visualizations do not follow relationships out of these nodes, so the view is simpler. If the system does not automatically identify a software node which you consider shared, use this option to force it to be considered shared.

Force to not sharedIf the system has decided that a node is shared, but you do not wish to consider it shared, use this option to force to to be not shared.
Let the system decide if shared

If you have forced a node to be shared or not shared, you can change that behavior and let the system decide whether software is shared or not.

Node kind or group
• Never show
• Do not follow any connections
• Do not follow connections
to ...

  • Never show—Never show the selected node kind or group in visualizations and models. You can cancel the never show removal rule by clicking Removed Nodes and deleting the Exclude node kind or Exclude group rule from the Removal Rules tab. You can save the never show removal rule by clicking the Save Changes button. If you save the rule, it is applied to all visualizations and model definitions.
  • Do not follow any connections—Creates a rule to prevent following any connections from this node kind or group.
  • Do not follow connections to ...— Highlights the selected (source) SI and prompts you to to select a destination. Nodes that the selected SI is not communicating with are dimmed and cannot be selected. When you select the destination node, it is highlighted, and a rule is created which prevents that type of relationship being followed. Preventing particular types of relationship being followed is typically used to prevent a large number of relationships being followed from a server to agents running on the server. This operation is not required frequently as TKU patterns suppress known occurrences of "over-linking". If you choose not to follow a connection to a node, that node is not suppressed, but that route to the node is suppressed. If the node is reached through another connection, it is displayed.

These options affect visualizations and application model definitions, but they do not affect the underlying data in BMC Discovery. The nodes are still created and maintained as usual.

You can show the suppressed connections using the plus control described in Additional controls or the context menu header described in Related, removed, and suppressed nodes in the context sensitive menu.

Create Software InstanceShown when right-clicking a Candidate Software Instance. Opens a dialog to create a rule to create an SI from a candidate SI. See Using candidate software instances for more information.

Do not create candidate SI node kind

Shown when right-clicking a Candidate Software Instance. Opens a dialog to create a rule preventing creation of this kind of candidate SI in the future and deleting any existing candidate SIs of this kind. The deletion of candidate SI is not limited to the current visualization or application model, it operates on the entire datastore.

Creating a rule to delete candidate SIs may affect other existing models. See Using candidate software instances for more information.

Expand collection

A collection is an automatically created group of closely related items. Expand collection expands the selected collection so that the individual nodes are visible in the view. The nodes from the expanded collection are highlighted. You can see what is contained in the collection using Preview collection.

Preview collection

Shows a popup window with the expanded contents of the selected collection. There is an Expand Collection control in the popup window which enables you to expand the collection.

Collapse back into collectionCollapses the nodes from an expanded collection back into the collection. Available when right-clicking a node that was expanded from a collection.
Hide highlighting of collectionHides the highlighting of the named expanded collection.

Hide all highlighting

Hides all highlighting that shows the nodes from an expanded collection.

Remove link

Deletes the selected link. Available when you right-click a link between two nodes.

See this video (04:12), which provides information on how to remove nodes and create rules in visualizations.


Additional controls

When a node is likely to have additional related nodes that have not been displayed, a plus icon is shown at the top left of the node icon. When you mouse over the icon, it expands. Click the icon to show the related nodes. The plus icon is only a guide that there may be some related nodes, but there may not be anything new to show. If there is not, the system displays the message, "No more related nodes".

Related, removed, and suppressed nodes in the context sensitive menu

When you right click on a node, the context sensitive menu shows counts of related nodes (+ icon), suppressed nodes (struck through circle icon), and removed nodes (trash can icon). Click the item in the header to display those nodes in the visualization.

  • Show more related nodes—show nodes that are connected to the selected node, but are not included in the visualization. Click the icon to show the related nodes.
  • Show nodes that are suppressed due to exclusion rules and shared nodes—show nodes that are connected to the selected node, but have been suppressed by exclusion rules or because the node is considered shared. Click the icon to show the suppressed nodes.
  • Show currently removed nodes—show nodes that are connected to the selected node, but have been removed. Click the icon to restore the removed nodes.

See this video (03:27), which demonstrates how to manage related, removed, and suppressed nodes in visualizations.


Limits on number of nodes displayed

There are a number of limits in the visualizations, there to prevent overwhelming the display with too many nodes. If you start a visualization from a search result, selecting more than 100 nodes, only the first 100 in the results are used as the starting points for the visualization.

The visualization works by starting from one of more nodes, then performing a number of rounds of relationship traversal. Each round, it performs one traversal hop from the current nodes to find all the nodes one hop away from them. If during a round of traversal the number of visible nodes exceeds 100, the round is completed, thus adding more nodes, but no more traversal rounds are performed; if the number of visible node exceeds 150, the traversal stops mid-round. A "visible node" corresponds to an icon displayed in the visualization – it can be a single datastore node, or a group of nodes that are presented as a single icon.

Keyboard Controls

The following keyboard controls are available when manipulating the visualizations:





Zoom in

-Zoom out

In select mode, return to drag mode

When viewing the context menu, close the menu

When viewing a dialog, close the dialog

Control-ZUndo the previous action
Control-YRedo the previous action

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