Like many things in Aplas, there are a few ways to get it done. How you bring software asset metadata into Aplas will often this depend on the size of your company and the type of data you wish to import.
Let’s start with some tips that might make the process easier in both the short and long-term:
Metadata as a service: Try not to think about your individual needs for information, but about what information your entire company needs. You might be thinking this might make things more complex, but that’s for our next tip...
Less information, more power: An index is designed to store just enough information to help people find something. Don't add fields that are only useful to a handful of employees, instead create a link to documents that cover the aspect in more detail (e.g. specifications, architecture diagrams). This makes the index understandable to a broader audience, and much easier to keep up-to-date!
Mostly human, sometimes machine. In order for people to understand your software, it’s important that a human is involved in documenting it. What if a machine wrote an abstract for the books in your library? It probably wouldn’t be all that useful.
The right level of detail: Not too technical, not too abstract, just the right level of detail.
Distributed: Find the people that know the most about the software at the time that it changes and give them responsibility for documenting it.
Production-like: Try not to use Aplas to store information that doesn’t have a high likelihood of making it to production. It’s import that your software index is verifiable to something that is deployed.
Let’s jump into the 4 methods to get software asset metadata into Aplas. Note that it's very common to use multiple methods, and to change your method as your use of the tool matures. For example, Option 3 is a great way to get an index populated quickly, while options 1 and 2 can be implemented later to ensure metadata is kept up-to-date over time.
Option 1: Connector
Often, there is no shortage of source material for software asset metadata in an organisation, just that it's hidden away. Source-code repositories, documentation platforms, configuration item databases, all have bits of information that would be significantly more useful if they were indexed centrally.
Aplas provides a connector system that makes it extremely easy to bring metadata into Aplas. With a few clicks, you can create a connection that will pull everything from a system and then monitor for updates to keep your index up-to-date. See our article for synchronising metadata with Aplas Connectors.
Option 2: API
Many companies already have significant effort invested in existing tools. Any data stored in a software index can be updated via API. See our guide for updating via API.
Option 3: CSV/Excel
Early on, whether for a PoC or Any data stored in a software index can be imported via CSV. See our guide for importing from CSV.
Option 4: Manual Entry
For many businesses - especially those with fewer systems and people - the best way is just to update Aplas directly. Once you create an index it’s possible to create records from our interface.