Service management is becoming more and more important within the area of IT-management. Its significance is stressed by the nowadays commonly used expression of the paradigm shift towards service management -- expressing that IT-management is no longer focused on components enabling the services, but driven by top down requirements. These have their origins in demands of service customers, contracts specifying ``quality of service'' (service level agreements) and company policies.
The problems of service management, such as specifying these requirements, breaking them down to components, etc. have not been solved yet. However, with the subject becoming more and more important, also more work on this subject is being carried out.
One special difficulty arises from the fact that services cannot be considered isolated tasks. They tightly depend on other (sub-)services and -- on the lower level -- on operating systems, physical components and communication infrastructure. Obviously, several tasks for service management benefit from -- or are even impossible without -- the knowledge about inter-service dependencies. Such tasks are described in section .
Descriptions of such dependencies of services are commonly called service dependency models. Section gives more exact definitions of several distinct types of models.
In section this article describes what existing problems, mainly concerning the model's manual creation. Later, section presents a process enabling the automated creation of models along with discussions of the resulting benefits. As the project is still in its beginnings, a prototype cannot be presented yet; nevertheless, an analysis of some aspects of implementation follow in section .