Aplas is a product built upon two brand new concepts. Before we dive into how to use the product, let’s take some time to consider a very different way of documenting software.
“The collaborative/ongoing process of surveying high-level software asset metadata and recording in an active/verifiable index.”
Why an index? It’s all about recording just the right level of information, not getting bogged down in low-level architecture or confused by high-level abstractions. It’s tempting to overcomplicate software “catalogues”, but doing so often creates a huge maintenance burden that is unsustainable. We believe the solution is to “index” software.
“The process of visualising complex software systems to assist in identifying, understanding and communicating about software.”
Why a map? Geographical mapping has been around for a very long time. It allows everyone to understand an incredibly complex network - the real world. Software mapping takes these concepts and applies them to software, creating a capability that can demystify software architecture for even the most non-technical audiences.
Software indexing and mapping work hand-in-hand to store and share software asset metadata with your employees. The diagram below shows the end-to-end flow of data within Aplas, from metadata source to publications shared with individual employees.
Central index/map, many ways to publish
The Aplas platform handles a wide variety of use-cases. Software is a cross-cutting concern across your business, and as such, there are many user types and use-cases to consider. Our publication system helps with this problem. For example, the metaseach publication type provides a search-like interface for people who want to quickly query index information, while the stylemap publication type can overlay many different views on top of the same map like financial or project scope.
In fact, this is one of the most import concepts in Aplas. The publication system allows a handful of users to publish information (we call them author users) and a large body of users to consume information (we call them view users). This ensures that the effort of authoring software information is leveraged to the maximum possible extent.