Aleph Data Desktop

September 2022: Aleph Data Desktop has been deprecated and will not receive any further updates. All of Data Desktop’s features are also available within Aleph. Please refer to the Aleph documentation to find out how to create network diagrams in Aleph and how to import diagrams created in Data Desktop.

Creating network diagrams within Aleph allows you to map networks of people and influence directly alongside the rich ecosystem of data and processing tools that Aleph provides. Access control ensures that the investigation files that you create are accessible only to collaborators with which you explicitly share them.

Even with these protections, there might arise a scenario where you want to work on an investigation file offline, within the private confines of your own device. For this reason, we have released an application called Aleph Data Desktop.

Follow the steps below to download Aleph Data Desktop and to learn how to move diagrams between the desktop application and Aleph.

Download the Desktop App

Aleph Data Desktop is available for download for Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS X, and common Linux distributions. Updates to the application are released periodically, and most users will be prompted with the option to download the latest release when their current version becomes out-of-date.

If you are interested, you are also welcome to explore and contribute to the source code of the application.

Using Aleph Data Desktop

Using the desktop app, investigation files can be created, edited, and shared as you would any other file on your computer, and will not be shared with others unless you explicitly decide to send that file to them.

Editing diagrams or using the table editor within the desktop app works exactly the same as in Aleph. The only difference is that, in the desktop application, you do not have the ability to enrich and expand entities in your diagram with additional linkages found in the Aleph ecosystem.

Another important note is that, unlike in Aleph’s Network Diagrams editor where changes are saved automatically, in Aleph Data Desktop you must click “Save” in the menu bar to save changes to your diagram file.

Exporting network diagrams from Aleph to Aleph Data Desktop

A network diagram created in Aleph can easily be exported, and then subsequently edited, in Aleph Data Desktop. It is important to note, however, that any changes made in the desktop application will not be reflected in the original version of your diagram in Aleph.

To export a network diagram from Aleph, click the “Export” button in the top right corner when viewing any diagram.

A file called your_diagram_name.vis will now be downloaded to your computer.

If you have Aleph Data Desktop downloaded, clicking this file should automatically open your diagram in the desktop application. Alternatively, with the application open, click the “Open” button in the top menu bar, and then select your file from your computer’s file system.

Importing network diagrams into Aleph from Aleph Data Desktop

There might be occasions where is useful to import a diagram you have been working on in the desktop application into Aleph.

  1. Save your diagram file.
  2. In an Aleph investigation, go to the “Network diagrams” tab.
  3. Then click the “Import diagram” button.

  4. Drag your diagram file into the window, or click to select it from your computer’s file system.

  5. Modify the title and description as you wish. Then click “Create”.

    Your diagram will now be visible and editable within Aleph, and any entities and relationships contained within it will automatically be added to the investigation into which it was added.