This documentation supports the 20.02 (12.0) version of BMC Discovery.

To view an earlier version of the product, select the version from the Product version menu.

Creating an application model

Start the application modeling process from any node kind or list that provides a visualization. You can also create an empty application from the application modeling home page (Model > Applications), though in practice, it is usually simpler to navigate the BMC Discovery data and start from something that looks interesting in the context of your application.

For example, the BMC Discovery demonstration appliance contains an instance of Jira, a defect tracking tool. To model it, search for "jira". It finds a number of node kinds, including Load Balancer Services and Software Instances. Either node kind is a good starting point, but here we are using the Software Instances. Select the items that look like they're part of the application, and click Visualize/Model.

To access the software context view from a node page where it is not currently displayed, click Visualize/Model. To access the software context view from a list page, select one or more list members and then select Visualize/Model.

There are limits on the number of nodes displayed in a visualization, which will therefore limit the number of nodes with which an application model can be created. However, it is possible to add more nodes to an existing model - this should be done in batches smaller than the visualization limits.

Application models are intended to model software entities. Consequently, NetworkDevices and similar are not automatically added, and if manually added, they are not maintained by the system.

Before you get a Business Application Instance (BAI) you need to create and publish a model. You can also edit a model once published, though to update the BAI, you must republish the model. 

To create an application model

Creating an application model comprises the following stages:

Select the application content

Start the application modeling process from the maximized visualization. If the visualization is currently displayed as a popup, click the + icon in its title bar to maximize the window. The following is a suggested method, but in practice, and depending on the application, the modeling process takes an iterative approach using a selection of the tools, and experimenting with layouts until you can see the structure of the application is clear.

  1. Ensure you are viewing the visualization with the focus on connected software. Select Display > Focus > Software - Connected from the left panel. If you have selected any other focus, the Model menu is disabled.

  2. Choose the connected nodes that you want to be in the application model by clicking the Drag Mode/Select Mode control on the left pane. The label and icon indicate the selected mode. Sometimes it is easiest to select the nodes that are in the model; other times, it is easiest to select nodes that are not in the model, and remove them.
  3. The mouse pointer displays as a pointer in selection mode. Selected nodes are shown with a rotating highlight. To select nodes:
    1. Draw a line round the nodes you want to select. Holding shift while selecting nodes in this manner adds them to already selected nodes; holding Control while selecting nodes removes them from the already selected nodes.
      • Shift-click to add nodes to the selection. Clicking without pressing shift selects only the node you click and deselects all others.
      • Control-clicking a node deselects it when multiple nodes have been selected.
      • If you want to select all nodes in the view, right-click and choose Select all from the context-sensitive menu.
    2. If you want to select all but a few nodes, select the ones you do not wish to select, right click and choose Invert selection from the context-sensitive menu.

      There are many ways of using the selection tools, see the application model editor for information on all of the options available.
    3. To remove the selected nodes from the application model, right click and choose Remove selected from the context sensitive menu. Conversely, to remove all the nodes except the selected ones, choose Keep only selected.
    4. If you wish to restore a node or nodes that you have removed, select Removed Nodes from the sidebar, and click the Restore button next to the nodes you wish to restore.
  4. Use the Display, Layout and Show/Hide tools from the left panel to change the view to show the structure of the application as clearly as possible. The Force-directed layout is often the most effective layout with which to view an initial visualization, because it reveals the interconnected structure. Once most of the irrelevant nodes have been removed, the Impact layout often shows the structure of the application in a useful manner. Show/Hide can be useful to hide nodes such as Candidate Software Instances that may be cluttering the display.
  5. Collections of nodes are shown as colored lozenge shapes. Their content is denoted by the icons in the lozenge along with a count of each node kind. You can expand the collection to show the contents by right-clicking, and selecting Expand collection from the context-sensitive menu.
  6. The visualization only follows a certain number and type of links. If there are other related nodes that have not been shown, nodes or collections of nodes display with a + icon at their top left corner.
    • You can click this to extend the model showing the nodes with which this node is communicating. You can also do this by selecting one of the classifications of related nodes from the top line of the context-sensitive menu.
  7. You can export or print the current view for review at any stage. The images are produced without the associated tools and menus.
    1. To export an image of the current view, click Export and choose SVG or PNG.
    2. To print an image of the current view, click Print Visualization and select a paper size from the drop-down list.
  8. When you are satisfied with the layout and content of the model, click Model. If some nodes are selected at this stage, only the selected nodes will be added to a model; if no nodes are selected, all the nodes in the view will be added.
    • Either, for a new model, click Create New Application Model. This opens it in the application editing window. Enter a name for the model and press Return.
    • Or, to add the content to an existing model, click Add to existing. From the list displayed, choose the model to which to add the content. If there are many models, use the filter to find the required model. This opens it in the application editing window.

  9. Create a first model definition. To do this, click Save. Once you have done this, the model definition is added to the total on the Model > Applications page.

Once the application model has been saved, BMC Discovery automatically updates it as changes in the environment are discovered, as described in Lifecycle of an application model.

Editing the model definition

The model definition is now saved and is open in the application editing view. The application editing view is the same as the visualization, but is always maximized and has additional saving and publishing workflow controls at the top of the window.  When you have saved a model, it is considered a favorite, which is denoted by a blue star under the workflow bar. Clicking the star toggles whether the model is a favorite or not. A blue star shows a favorite, a gray star shows a model that is not a favorite. You can see a list of your favorites on the the Model > Applications page.

In addition to the workflow controls at the top of the window, the sidebar controls differ from the visualization view.

  • The Display control no longer contains Focus options. You cannot change the focus away from the application view.
  • The Export control provides an additional option. You can now export the model definition. Exported model definitions can be imported using the Model > Applications page.
  • The Attributes control enables you to set the default and custom attributes of the application model. The default attributes are:
    • Description
    • Type
    • Version
  • To add a custom attribute, click Add Attribute.
    Enter the attribute details in name/value pairs. You can add as many attributes as needed. Attribute names must start with a letter or underscore and can only contain ASCII letters, numbers, and underscores. Click OK to apply the changes.
  • To leave the editing view, click Stop Editing.
  • To resume editing, click Edit.

To publish an application model

Publishing a model creates the Business Application Instance node (BAI). Any attributes that you set while editing the model definition are set as attributes on the published BAI node. If you are synchronizing to a CMDB, the new BAI node is synchronized as a BMC_Application CI in the CMDB.

To publish a model you must be in the editing view. If you are not in the editing view, click Edit. To publish the model, click Publish. This also saves any outstanding changes. You must confirm the operation.

The page now displays the visualization, updated with the new BAI, and the tabular information of the BAI node view page below the visualization. The workflow controls show that the model is published, and an Edit Model button enables you to make further changes. The BAI node has structural relationships to the top nodes in the model and short-cut relationships to all the Host nodes.

The workflow bar shows the current state of the model, whether it is published, and whether there are revisions pending.

To edit a published application model

The published model may still need some adjustment. For example, if you realize that you want to add an additional item, you can search for the item and any connected nodes that you need, refine the selection as shown in the Select application content procedure, and add that content to the current model using the Model > Add to existing control on the sidebar. Alternatively, you might want to restore some nodes that were removed during the earlier process, or change the appearance of the model.

To edit a published model, click Revise Model.The model is opened in the application editing view.

Additional buttons are shown as necessary:

  • Save
  • Stop Editing (replaced by Cancel Changes after you have made changes)
  • Publish to save and re-publish the model

If you make changes to a model, you must publish the changes before any BAIs created or updated from this model reflect the changes. To do this, click Publish.

If you are making extensive changes, it can be useful to save the work-in-progress without publishing. To do so, click Save. After saving, you can return to viewing the published model by clicking Stop Editing. The workflow bar shows that there is a Revision in progress. You may resume editing it by clicking the Revision link, or clicking the Edit Model button again.

To unpublish a model

If you have published a model in error, or the application no longer exists in the environment, you can unpublish it. This removes the BAI created from the model and returns the model to the not published state.

To do this:

  • Either, from the Actions menu on the model definition page, select Unpublish.
  • Or, from the Actions menu on the application instance page, select Unpublish.

In both cases you must confirm the operation.

Viewing application models

You can view the application models in the application modeling home page (Model > Applications). On this page there is also a feed of recent system and user events.

Application instances are shown in the Services & Applications section of the Explore > Data page.

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