Best way to visualize "entities" that appear in one or more groups (containers)

Started by araisbec, July 24, 2014, 06:32:36 PM

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Hi all,

This is a problem I am trying to wrap my head around currently, and it is even proving difficult for me to describe the problem - let alone solve it!

I am currently developing a diagram which shows the various applications being used in each branch of my department at work... this data is all on SharePoint, and so I have written code to download the data from SharePoint (a list) as an external data connection, create a shape for each application, and then automatically group the shapes by branch (with each branch being a container). The code works very well, and turns out a container that looks like the picture I've included for each branch. Note: I censored out the application and vendor names, as my manager was hesitant about publicly posting this internal information.

So, this is where I am looking for advice: Some of these applications are used in multiple branches, and thus appear within multiple Branch containers... although the diagram shows this by listing the applications under each branch that they belong to, I want another way to illustrate this point. Does anyone have any suggestions for ways in which I could show which applications belong to more then one Branch? I am looking for an intuitive, yet clutter-free solution, as this is a huge diagram/map, and some branches have over 50 applications associated with them.

If you need clarification, let me know. Thank you!

Paul Herber

Rather than use containers it might be worth looking at using layers. Use one layer per department, any shape representing an application can be one one or more layers.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


A table for each department could have the application as ordinate and the branch as abscissae.