How to streamline and focus your sequence diagrams

How to streamline and focus your sequence diagrams

AppMap’s new feature gives developers greater control over their sequence diagrams to enhance code reviews.

The value of sequence diagrams, especially for code reviews, is growing. And AppMap is at the cutting edge, creating new tools and capabilities for developers to generate and use sequence diagrams for designing and improving code quality from writing to reviewing. In this article, I’ll share a new filtering feature of our sequence diagram tool in AppMap.

Taming the complexity of sequence diagrams

As software projects grow in size and complexity, so do the sequence diagrams generated from them that represent their inner workings. These diagrams often become extensive and overwhelming, making it challenging to decipher the flow of interactions and identify critical components. The AppMap user community has requested a way to declutter their automatically-generated sequence diagrams in order to focus on the essential elements of their application.

We heard you, and we’re excited to share this new feature release. Read on for the details, and watch this walkthrough video to see it in action.

Advanced filtering for unparalleled control

With our latest release, we added an enhanced filtering system that empowers developers to take control of their sequence diagrams by eliminating unnecessary noise and tailoring your diagrams to display only the information that matters most to you and your team.

3 key functionalities

  1. Live filtering: Instantly reduce complexity by hiding specific components, such as external code or framework-related elements. With just a few clicks, you can create a clean, focused view of your sequence diagram.
  2. Customizable views: Once you have refined your diagram to your liking, you can save that view as a filter. This means you can apply the filter to future app maps, whether you want it as a default setting for all diagrams or selectively choose where to apply it.
  3. Seamless switching: Switching between different views is effortless. Just select the desired filter, and the diagram will dynamically update to display your preferred elements. No need to rebuild or navigate complex menus.

streamline and focus your AppMap Diagrams

Benefits and advantages

AppMap’s enhanced filtering feature goes beyond simplifying your sequence diagrams.

  1. Persistence: Your custom filter views persist as long as the diagram remains open. This allows you to revisit and analyze your diagrams without losing your customized settings. If a diagram has been closed, getting that view back is as simple as reapplying the filter. If you find yourself applying the same filter to a majority of your sequence diagrams, set a previously saved filter as the default, providing a seamless experience across any sequence diagram you choose to open or share. Changing or setting a default view becomes as simple as clicking a button.
  2. Intuitive interface: Our user-friendly interface ensures that applying filters and customizing your view is a breeze. With our configure-as-you-go model, developers spend less time configuring and more time gaining insights from their diagrams.
  3. Increased efficiency: By decluttering your sequence diagrams and focusing on the relevant elements, you can make quick decisions on things that matter most, improving your code analysis efficiency and gaining a deeper understanding of your application’s behavior on whatever scale you choose to view.

Getting Started + community

Sequence diagrams are particularly useful for designing and testing software systems that involve multiple components, asynchronous events, or complex control flows. Learn more about the common use cases for sequence diagrams and how to interpret them in this post.

To try out our new filtering feature, download AppMap into your favorite IDE and use our handy docs to get started. We hope you enjoy exploring the possibilities, experimenting with different views, and revolutionizing how you analyze and understand your code!

To chat with us and other users about it and get your questions answered, join our community.

Cover Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash.

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