A relationship uses basic terms to describe the dependency or connectivity between configuration items. The basic terms include runs on, installed on, contained, and so forth.

You define and work with relationships in these ways:

  • In the Relationships application, you create the formal definitions and accompanying rules for relationships.
  • In the Configuration Items application, you associate configuration items with each other using the relationships that you define in the Relationships application.
When you create relationships you specify several properties and rules, including these properties:
  • Directionality - The directionality of a relationship affects what is found when a user searches for configuration items that are based on relationships. Relationships can be unidirectional, such as installed on or bidirectional.
  • Complementarity - If a relationship is complementary, one relationship implies another relationship. For example, the relationship of operating system A to computer B is installed on. This relationship implies that the relationship of computer B to operating system A is installed with.
  • Cardinality - This property specifies whether you can have multiple configuration items as the source and the target. For example, an operating system can be installed on many computers, which is a one-to-many relationship. In addition, a computer can have a one-to-one relationship, which means that the computer runs one operating system.
  • Containment - This property specifies whether there is a parent-child relationship between configuration items.