Survol audience and users


Audience and usersAn IT project is made of several kind of people, with different skills who need to communicate and have a common understanding of the technical aspects of the tasks they are working on. Survol is intended to provide an abstraction layer to hide much of the complexity of the underlying system from anyone working on it. It exposes different views of the same semantic structure, dedicated these different types of users. On the same data model of an IT system, it gives different perspectives adapted to different mindsets.


A consultant working for a management service, on an existing system, starts her/his mission with an assessment stage where the client application is evaluated. The goal is to define options and solutions, and create a roadmap for future enhancement. The consultant immediately needs, as much information as possible about the internals, structure, etc.… of the legacy application. Very simple information might be difficult to obtain if the technical experts are not available. However, it is of utmost important to concentrate on the high-level functionalities of the client's application.

For consultants, Survol is an investigation tool: It provides architectural and technical insight about any IS of different types. For example, qualitative information : client/server structure, components, packages and libraries dependencies etc… or quantitative metrics: Code and data size, transfer volumes, coupling factor between modules etc. and many other information given by Survol analyzers and extensions. These metrics and qualitative information are used by the Consultant to create her/his assessment result, find out which solutions are feasible, drafts the technical assessment of the information system. It also help double-checking technical feedback from client technical staff.

Survol can increase your sales: With these features, one can demonstrate early, an in-depth understanding of the client's information systems, and quickly elaborate a development or maintenance project, built on solid technical foundations.


A project manager has to deal with highly skilled technical team with which the information flow can be opaque. Following the evolution of a project is difficult, understanding the main components and dependencies of an information system is impossible.

Survol shows the internal structure of an information system: Its technical dependencies, information flow, processing architecture etc... all major components, which are usually invisible, can now be examined without technical training, just by clicking icons and following URLs, without depending on someone else for technical reports..

Survol brings mutual understanding: It is now possible to follow the evolution of a project, by running Survol agent on a development machine, and examining how a new information system is built or modified. It is now much easier to communicate with the development team because everyone now uses the same language and concepts.

Technical writer

Technical writers and people in charge of documentations, are constantly trying the get fresh information about the information system they have to describe. Technical changes occur, various updates are done without informing other teams, which makes documentation writing a very tedious job.

Survol brings to anyone, up-to-date and rigorous information. Survol is built on Semantic Web principles: Every displayed information has a strict one-to-one mapping with technical IT components, immediately extracted from a machine. With no specific technical knowledge, one can check which configuration parameters are used, which installation setup is in place, what are the run-time metrics on an information system, without asking the development team.

Because Survol manipulates RDF data, it can be interfaced with semantic data tools (Protégé, Apache Jena, GraphDB) which help formalizing even more the knowledge about an information system. It is also easy to upload the entire data set created by Survol, to a graph database such as Tigergraph or Neo4J.

Software developer

A software developer in charge of supporting or enhancing existing applications, has constantly to run commands to understand the internal behavior of an application: Resources, databases, remote machines, processes, libraries and their interconnections has to be investigated, as they are the structure of the information system.

Survol is also a development tool: Not only it can provide this type of system-level data, but it is also extremely easy to add new Python scripts to monitor specific information related to your development or system, or information on rarely-used or emerging technology.

It can also output its results in several formats: Text, RDF, JSON etc... so they can be archived, merged into a single document or shown to non-technical users, to monitor the progress of a task. Also,

Survol helps automating investigation tasks, discovering new technologies and sharing the evolution of a project.


System administrators have to support applications, sometimes with no prior knowledge. Database resources, security, access to other systems, security problems etc... are very difficult to control without documentation, which might anyway take a long time to understand.

Survol gives an overview of all side-effects, external accesses, remote connections of an application. It helps to quickly take control of a new software with no initial training. It allows to quickly focus on the most important technical details.