How to manually document dependencies in Elements

How to document external system dependencies with Salesforce; Ref models; Org models; Documenting data flows

Ksawery Lisinski avatar
Written by Ksawery Lisinski
Updated over a week ago

Prerequisites

To document your dependencies in Elements you will need:

  • A synced Salesforce Org and a reference model OR

  • More than one reference model in Elements

  • A Space with an enterprise license

  • Edit permissions on the relevant Org/ref models that you want linked

How to create a dependency link

To create a dependency link, start by navigating to the first node you want to link. There are 2 ways to create a link:

1) right-click on the node and select the "Copy node" option in the context menu,

2) from the "dependency / impact analysis" tab in the right panel, select "Copy node".

Once you have "copied" a node you can then navigate to the appropriate node elsewhere that you want to document a dependency between. In this example here I have opened the Reference model which contains our JIRA configuration:

Again, there are 2 ways you can complete the action to add the dependency.

1) By clicking on "Add dependency" in the right panel, next to where it says "Copy node", or

2) By right-clicking to open the context menu and selecting "Add dependency". If you have more than 1 type of node copied, both will appear as an option.

Once you've selected the node you want to link the "Create dependency" window will open, allowing you to document the direction of the dependency (uses or used by), and a description of the relationship.

After you're finished, click "Create" to generate the dependency link. This new dependency will now be displayed in the right panel, and in the dependency tree for the node which is "used by" the other.

How to edit a dependency link

You can edit any manually created dependency by clicking on it in the right panel.

This will reopen the edit window where you can change the nature of the dependency (Uses or Used by) and the description. To delete the dependency altogether press the red x on the right hand side of the dependency record.

Understanding the data flow

There are 2 ways you can characterise the dependency: "Uses" or "Used by". This creates a Parent/Child relationship between them.

Our dependency trees currently only display entities that use the node you opened the tree for, in other words, for the Parent.

For example, this JIRA "Task" entity that I have documented shows that it is used by the Stage field. Subsequently, the Stage field is used by 2 Apex classes, 2 Global Actions, 7 Page Layouts, etc...

Creating a reference model

Wondering how you can create a configuration model to start documenting your dependencies? Our reference models are perfect for this!

Head over to our article to learn how to create one of these.

By creating a reference model of your external systems, such as MuleSoft, Tableau, JIRA, etc., you can document key integration points. Reference models have all the same documentation capabilities as Org models, so you can add stakeholders, allocate GDPR/Data privacy statuses, or add descriptions, notes, images and URLs.

Something to note is that we don't support the automatic generation or syncing of these other system configurations. However, we would love to hear from you if you have a particular system in mind that you'd want this for.

Please reach out to us at success@elements.cloud, or click the blue icon in the bottom right of the screen, to talk to us about your ideas.

What can I link?

Currently you can link together:

  • Org model nodes to Reference model nodes and vice versa.

  • Reference model nodes to other reference model nodes.

We don't yet support the linking of Org model nodes to other Org models, but this improvement is being developed for release in the near future.

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