Service and application modeling

Service and application modeling helps make it quicker and easier to create a focused model, and it enables you to choose any entry points into a Business Service, Business Application, or Technical Service and begin modeling from there. It gives you the choice of modeling using pre-defined templates, or a less constrained "start anywhere" approach.

When you focus in on items of particular interest by creating a model of the application or service,  you can make accurate, informed, data-driven decisions using the information that BMC Helix Discovery finds out about your IT environment. 

Related topics

Managing models

Start anywhere modeling

Service modeling with blueprints

Collaborative application mapping BMC Helix AIOps Open link

Business Services, Business Applications, and Technical Services

Business Service, Business Application, and Technical Service are key components of application modeling. It’s essential to understand these components to fully understand what the model represents:

Business ServiceA Business Service is functionality offered to end users or customers. If you ask your end users or customers what services they use, the things they name are the Business Services. Examples are services like “Commodities Trading” and “Holiday Booking” that are used by internal users, or “Shopping Cart” and “Order History” that would be used by external customers of a retail organization. In most cases, a single Business Service is used by many different end users or customers. There would be just one “Order History” service for all customers, or perhaps one per region, but certainly not one per customer.
Business ApplicationBusiness Application is essentially a synonym of Business Service. It is also defined as a service offered to end users or customers. Business Applications can be used to represent a hierarchy, where an overall Service has several distinct end-user Applications within it. For example, the “Corporate Communication” Business Service could be composed of Business Applications “Email”, “Instant Messaging”, “Video Conferencing” and so on. Note that the Business Applications are still end-user applications that non-technical users would recognize, not the underlying technical building blocks like databases, message buses and web servers that they are built from.
Technical ServiceA Technical Service is maintained by IT, and provides shared functionality that is used by multiple Business Services. These are not the services or applications that end users see, rather the infrastructure upon which they are built, and that are managed by particular groups within IT. Examples are services such as “Oracle Database Servers in London”, “Santa Clara Edge Switches”, and “Kubernetes Cluster ABC”.

Business Services of course depend on facilities provided by Technical Services, but not in a simple blanket manner. For example, many Business Services would make use of databases that are managed as part of the “London Oracle Databases” Technical Service. If one database fails, it must be fixed by a member of the “London Oracle Databases” technical support team, but the failure probably only affects one particular Business Service, not all the Business Services that use any of the other databases in the Technical Service. The Business Services affected are likely to have an influence on the priority of handling a failure – fixing a database that is part of “Commodities Trading” is probably a higher priority than fixing one that is part of “Holiday Booking”.

BMC Helix Discovery automatically finds and connects most parts of most business services, business applications, and technical services, so modeling a service or application is a matter of providing business context to the information within BMC Helix Discovery.

Service models are a collection of all the nodes and relationships that represent the current parts of the service, plus information used by BMC Helix Discovery to keep the model up to date.

Modeling services by using blueprints

The blueprint modeling approach provides complete control of the service composition. You can add static content (nodes) and dynamic content (rules in blueprints) to control the model composition.

See Service modeling with blueprints for more information.

Start anywhere modeling

The start anywhere modeling (SAM) approach offers the option to choose any entry point into a business service or application and begin modeling from there. See Start anywhere modeling for more information.

Do I need to replace my existing models with blueprints?

No. If you have existing SAM or Collaborative Application Mapping (CAM) models, you do not need to model those services or applications again using blueprints. 

Should I choose blueprints or SAM for new models?

You can choose to create new service or application models using SAM or blueprints. You might find it easier to model some service or applications in one rather than the other; it really depends on the structure of the service or application being modeled, the way in which you can identify it. The following points provide some basic guidance on which method you might use:

  • Blueprints—if you can articulate simple rules describing what to model, and all the required nodes have relationships between them.
  • SAM—if you view some of the nodes you know to be part of the service, and the visualization shows a good representation of the complete service, including most of the nodes that should be present, and not too many that should not be present.
  • CAM—if you are modeling a service that requires multiple complex conditions, including situations where required nodes do not have relationships between them.

If you need to share your model with BMC Helix AIOps you should consider blueprint models as they are automatically available to you in BMC Helix AIOps. Similarly, if you create blueprint models in BMC Helix AIOps, they are available to you in BMC Helix Discovery.

Where is the TPL?

Most automated data creation and maintenance in BMC Helix Discovery is performed by TPL patterns, but models created this way are not maintained with TPL. They are automatically maintained by the system. To transfer some model definitions from one instance of BMC Helix Discovery to another, you export and import the models, rather than transferring TPL.

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