Don’t End Up a Prisoner to Your IT Documentation Software

How many characters can I fit into a field? Well…let me tell you: more than you would probably ever need. Wondering what the heck I’m talking about?

Drumroll, please…

I mean the data you can place into a field for an object: an object might be a building or a network device such as a switch or router. When you are creating network documentation, or DCIM or OSP for that matter, you want to capture information about objects like the buildings and switches and routers.

Example:Free Text Entry in netTerrain

Sometimes the information might be more than 20 characters or, hey, maybe even 256 characters of information.

Example:Field Options in netTerrain

In netTerrain, we actually allow you around 4k characters of information. That’s right: in netTerrain, you can almost write a novel in each field.

Why so many characters? Flexibility is a major reason.

Afterall, you may need to have a comments fields so people can enter some information about updates or changes or just some general thoughts about the object of interest. Beyond the number of characters in the field, however, everything about netTerrain’s fields is all about flexibility. You can add as many fields as you need, per object type, and you can always re-order those fields the exact way you want them.

This is an example of why you really want a software that adapts to work how you need to work — and doesn’t force you to work the way the software works.

The flexibility you may need for documenting the network doesn’t just end at data fields and characters (or else this would be a pretty boring blog post).

Flexibility is also important with any IT documentation software’s catalog: afterall, you want to be able to create your own node types and device types — without having to ask (and wait) for it or worse, get pushed into some kind of automated customer service purgatory and getting shuffled from one person and chat box to another.

Flexible IT and network diagram software lets you have whatever you want with no rigid structures that force you to work rigidly:

  • Want to define the hierarchy of your network drawings? Go right ahead.
  • Maybe in some locations you show buildings, floors, rooms, etc…but other locations you just want to see one wiring closet and that’s it. No problem.
  • Wanna add a bunch of pictures of man hole and what’s in the man holes in your outside plant diagrams? No problem. Just right click and upload those pics. You’ll see them right there in the drawing — and then you can upload a background image of a butterfly drawing into the diagram, as well.


Don’t end up a prisoner to your IT documentation software: software shouldn’t make you jump through hoops to document what you need to document. You do not, I repeat, do not, want to buy expensive software only to end up in a situation in which a software is so rigid that you either have to conform your work processes to the software…or dusting off one heck of an expensive piece of shelfware.

Jason Sherman
Jason Sherman
As Graphical Networks’ Sales Engineering and Support Services Manager, Jason Sherman leads the pre and post sales cycle with the entire Graphical Networks software portfolio, and ensures current customers are able to use the software to its fullest potential.

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