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More control over automatic dependency mapping & dependencies in general

More control over automatic dependency mapping & dependencies in general

Please. Please. PLEASE. Creating dependencies is pretty clunky at the moment. It would be super neat if we could enable automatic dependency mapping for specific nodes, instead of having to choose between all or nothing. Improved dependency creation has huge potential for SolarWinds. Right now I have over 400 500 600 700 manually created dependencies, it's tedious. I don't want to dive in and enable automatic dependency mapping globally, risking miscalculations that destroy the countless hours of work I've put into my current mapping. Introducing the new auto mapping feature is only beneficial for new customers, and potentially disastrous for anyone with existing dependencies. Additionally, if we decide to create our dependencies manually, it should not be as difficult as it currently is.

Right now the process to create a single dependency is time consuming since each step is a new screen and the search function feels broken. When searching for a parent node, the default display is whatever node belongs to the vendor who's name is alphabetically first. When a node name is typed into the search box, the window shows nothing. You have to manually change the filter in order to find the node or group you are looking for. Occasionally, the page throws an error that says "you need to choose a parent node before continuing", even though you've already selected one. The page reloads and you have to start over. This process needs to be repeated for the child node as well. The whole thing has tons of room for improvement. I'm sure you've all created dependencies before, but I want you to go and try it again right now to understand my point. Here's my mock-up of what the "Add a dependency" screen should look like:

With this screen you could easily add multiple dependencies at once. Notice how choosing more than one parent or child is also possible. The need to create groups, for no other purpose than using them in dependencies, doubles the required work. Also note that when searching for a parent/child those drop down boxes show up based on what you've typed in. This feature is already implemented in other parts of NPM.

Help me, THWACK. You're my only hope.

19 Comments
Level 9

I completely agree with you and have been holding off enabling the auto-dependency feature since it was released a few revs. back because I'm unsure how it will affect the manual dependencies I have in place.  There are certain networks in our infrastructure which are still a maze and could probably benefit from this feature, at least initially if only to point out where to create manual dependencies but I'm not willing to risk adversely affecting the dependencies already in place.

Level 12

If you have a current manually-defined dependency, any automatic dependencies that would duplicate will be discarded.

Level 9

Thanks for the info.

I could see this being improved to function similarly to how alerts do, where you can see what would be changed before submitting the change. Instead of a checkbox of "automate all dependencies", either making it look like the scheduled discovery results page (to see dependency changes) or like the last page of alerts before you submit the change would at least be a significant improvement.

Bumping, looking at you meech

Level 13

nickzourdos  show us your example!

bumped for effect plus I voted up

It's in the post

bumpbumpbump