What is dependency mapping & why is it essential for devs?


  1. Unknown dependencies across projects and applications can cause a cascade of break/fix cycles and make project planning both difficult and risky
  2. CodeLogic gathers software relationship data missed by source code scanning tools, including those within third-party libraries and external databases
  3. Developers can visualize and dig deep into code dependencies to better understand the impact of planned code changes and collaborate more effectively with other teams
  4. Dependency mapping provides key insights into the connections within and across applications and databases to ensure cloud, application, or framework migration success

What is dependency mapping?

Application dependency mapping helps developers understand and manage all code and database interdependencies across large-scale software and data structures. Although a small subset of application dependency mapping deals with the inclusion of third-party libraries, the full range of potential dependencies is much broader.
  1. APIs (Application Program Interfaces) made available to—or called by—internal or external services
  2. Microservices
  3. Message queues—identifying producers/senders and consumers/receivers (e.g., RabbitMQ, Apache Kafka)
  4. Database schemas, specifically applications or services (including microservices) that use (read from or write to) certain databases and database columns
  5. Third-party and open-source libraries included in the build process

Providing software developers with the means to visualize and query relationship data is what application dependency mapping is all about. Ideally, this even goes a step further, not only showing that A depends on B, but also that B depends on C, which depends on D, and so on. Most software dependencies are part of a long chain that developers need to see to work most effectively. 

With the increasing use of third-party libraries and the ongoing movement toward microservices, large-scale software codebases and data structures create volumes of interdependencies that can be difficult to discern using traditional dev tools. Even relatively small codebases can have tens of thousands of connections; for large codebases they can easily grow into millions. A primary reason for this is code reuse, which can dramatically accelerate the software development process. However, the downside is an increase in codebase complexity; massive webs of code dependencies that make the fundamental job of software development incredibly difficult and risky. 

Every piece of code touched by a developer potentially impacts other code in unforeseeable and unpredictable ways. Dependency mapping safeguards against unintentional consequences by visually revealing downstream impacts on your software. 

Why map your application code?

Fast, dynamic development approaches have created gaps in knowledge, difficulties getting new team members up to speed, and declining application quality—leading to growing business problems that dependency mapping can help address.
  1. Uncover hidden application modernization bottlenecks. Visibility into the connections and interdependencies within and across applications helps show what code should be rewritten versus what can safely be refactored into microservices.
  2. Unwind your ball of mud and prevent tech debt from accumulating. With deep visibility into how your software fits together, development decisions can be made clear, while architectures can remain clean. Dependency mapping can surface the biggest problem areas in your codebase and make sense of the mud, while allowing you to keep an eye on overall code health over time.
  3. Understand codebases faster. New developers, or those new to a codebase, can easily see all connections and relationships within an application, and clearly identify the classes, methods, database connections, and even other applications that are likely to be impacted by code changes.
  4. Prevent exposure to vulnerable endpoints. Mapping dependencies shows where API endpoints exist to highlight potential security, support, or legal risks. Once you know the connection points, managing the security of open-source code, third-party libraries, or external databases becomes more straightforward.
  5. More accurate test coverage. Application dependency mapping helps ensure test case coverage addresses all the classes, methods, and database items impacted by code changes. Test teams can confidently run the right test cases and make sure high-quality code is being shipped to production.
  6. Manage database platform migrations with confidence. See and understand all database connections across an application to better estimate and scope the platform migration effort. A complete picture of database dependencies within your software minimizes risk and keeps teams on the same page.
CodeLogic Explorer View - Dependency Mapping
CodeLogic lets developers visualize all code dependencies: classes, methods, APIs, messaging queues, even databases and individual database columns.

Dependency mapping made easy

Without automation, finding connections across projects and applications is time consuming and prone to error. CodeLogic quickly and automatically provides a complete picture of how your software and data structures interconnect. Using a unique combination of binary and runtime scans, CodeLogic reveals relationships that source code scans miss, including methods and dependencies injected by the compiler, as well as connections imported from closed-source third-party libraries. This depth of insight helps developers predict downstream issues and confidently push code without breaking things they cannot see. 

Reveal interdependent usages and other code or database elements across projects or services that are likely to be impacted if a code or database schema change is made.

Application-to-Application Dependencies

Capture relationships between applications, whether they are REST service calls or shared databases. Easily report on exposed and called endpoints and SQL connections.​​

Dependency Reports

Easily create and export a list of relationships between classes, methods, and database columns. Generate a list of every method or field that references a refactored database, or a list of every API endpoint exposed by an application. Dependency reports can also be exported to a CSV and shared.
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