A method and mechanism for diagnosing application failures. An executable application is augmented with code which generates a list of components, as well as version information, utilized by the application. Also created is data which associates application components with applications which utilize those components. The list of components, version information, and association data are stored in a database and updated each time the application is run. In response to detecting a failure of the application, a database query is generated which returns a list of components utilized by the failed application. By comparing the date that application components changed to the date the application was last successfully run, a high priority list of components which changed since the last successful run may be generated. Diagnosis of the application failure may then begin with components in the high priority list.