What is the process of configuration modeling, and what are the required skills and effort?

Evolven discovers and collects detailed configuration out-of-the-box for many common technologies (operating systems, databases, application servers, web servers etc.). Evolven also captures applications deployed on top of application servers without requiring any customization.

However Evolven will not have any prior knowledge of an application or technology developed by an organization in-house. In this case a new application configuration model should be defined which takes into account any application resources which are not picked up automatically inside app/web/database containers. For most organizations there is a 90-10 ratio between out-of-the-box Evolven capabilities versus additional customization requirements.

In order to define a custom application definition (appDef) Evolven provides a GUI based modeling wizard. This wizard allows users to define basic collection processes without any technical expertise required. Examples of such basic collections can be picking up configuration files under certain directories, collecting from the windows registry, from database tables etc. Evolven recognizes and handles common types of configuration formats such as XML files, INI files, properties files, manifest files, database tables and more. Evolven's appDef editor allows customers to model more sophisticated situations such as running external scripts, handling include files, API calls, etc. The skills required are commensurate with the task. Organizations that need to implement these collections typically have skills in-house which can be leveraged.

Evolven recommends an iterative and incremental approach to its collection capabilities. Evolven’s guiding principle is: “collect as much as is practically possible, then narrow down analysis results to a minimal and actionable data set”. This means users do not need to spend time handpicking configuration information to collect. Many applications are modeled successfully just by telling Evolven to build a complete bill-of-material of the application environment while looking for all the possible configuration files.