Data models are not ‘just documentation’ @DV_Modeling @RoelantVos #PowerDesigner

My friend Dirk Lerner is speaking at the IRM UK data management conference this week (it has a longer title, but I’ll avoid using it today) on topics that are close to my heart, so I thought I’d share some related connections. Dirk has three sessions this week –

  • Data, Data, Metadata – DNA of Data Architecture?
  • From Conceptual to Physical Data Vault Data Model
  • Send Bi-Temporal Data from Ground to Vault to the Stars

Why am I so interested in these sessions (especially the first two)? The answer is simple – he’s discussing the combination of metadata and automation to improve the efficiency and efficacy of data modelling. This is a message I’ve been banging on about for years to anyone who will listen – data models are not ‘just documentation’, they’re an essential part of application development.

There are tools out there to help you with automating the development of Data Warehouses, including Data Vaults. Some are commercial products which you can buy with services, others are part of a consultancy package (so you buy the service, and they use the tools to provide the service). All of the consultancy examples I know of have extended a data modelling tool to provide the automation (they all use SAP PowerDesigner).

If you want to build your own automation, there is an initiative (led by Roelant Vos) to build a generic metadata interface for you to use when integrating tools – find out more at http://roelantvos.com/blog/a-collaboration-for-a-common-metadata-model/, and you can contribute to this effort at https://github.com/RoelantVos/Data_Warehouse_Automation_Metadata_Interface.

#PowerDesigner adds support for Amazon #Redshift

Late last year, SAP issued Service Pack 5 for PowerDesigner 16.6. From the list of new features, it’s obvious that SAP are putting a lot of focus on the web-editing capabilities of the tool. In this service pack, there are changes that affect process modellers, enterprise architects, requirements modellers, and data architects. I shan’t list them all here – see the note below for details of how to access them yourself.

I’m going to focus on what matters to data architects – the new support for Amazon Redshift. SAP have done the usual excellent job of enhancing the underlying database support in the Physical Data Model (PDM) in order to handle this DBMS. For example, they’ve added a new type of object, “External Schema”, and extended the properties available for Tables, Columns, Views, and Users. The latter includes recognising Schemas as a Stereotype of User.

For example, here’s the new ‘general’ tab for a column – I’ve highlighted some of the new properties for you.

Redshift column

To find out more about these new features, follow these two simple steps:

·        Search for PowerDesigner stuff on SAP.com – https://help.sap.com/viewer/p/SAP_POWERDESIGNER

·        click on the “New Features Summary” link

 

click here for more