What makes #PowerDesigner different? Find out at my #DMZone session in Dusseldorf next week

Next week at Data Modelling Zone in Dusseldorf, I’ll be demonstrating my favourite features of SAP PowerDesigner. These range from simple usability to advanced tinkering, none of them are rocket science. Most of them are not available in other competing tools.

Challenge me with a feature of your favourite data modelling tool that you just can’t live without, and I’ll show you how to handle it in PowerDesigner.

Here’s the list of features I intend to demonstrate:

  • What if you draw that relationship in the wrong direction, or between the wrong entities? You don’t need to delete it, just edit it
  • Tidy up that diagram – have more than one symbol on the diagram for that busy entity
  • When you connect two objects together, the link is visible from both ends (even if they’re from two different models, or different types of models)
  • Multiple editing windows – individual objects and lists of objects, from multiple models
  • Copy and paste from a list of Objects straight into Excel, complete with headers
  • Import anything from Excel without writing any code
  • Link anything to anything if you have a need to, using Traceability Links
  • Add new properties, and new types of object, and links between them
    – how about adding Data Stewards, and linking them to the entities they’re responsible for?
  • Dependency matrices – show (and edit) links between objects
  • Create a model within a model – useful for Subject Area models
  • How about generating that LDM as JSON structures for your fancy governance tool to ingest?
  • Tailor how PowerDesigner generates DDL, and even invent your own DBMS and funky new DDL syntax
  • When you generate one model from another (e.g. generating a PDM from a LDM) you can change what happens using model transformations – such as the model transformation that makes sure your PDM tables all have the correct audit columns
  • Who needs Visio? Use a ‘Free Model’ to invent your own type of model

 

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#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

Work smarter with #PowerDesigner – adding a sub-Requirements tab in the RQM

The PowerDesigner Requirements Model (RQM) is a powerful tool for managing requirements, or anything else you want to keep track of that has a hierarchical structure but doesn’t fit well with any of the other PowerDesigner Models.

For example, take a look at a sample RQM supplied by SAP, in the WebLibrary project, which is usually installed at “C:\Program Files\SAP\PowerDesigner 16\Examples\WebLibrary\WebLibrary.prj“. Here we can see a simple hierarchy of Requirements in the Browser:01 WebLibrary RQM - browser

The same hierarchy is also visible in a Requirements Document view, like this one:02 WebLibrary RQM - requirements document view

However, when I’m editing a Requirement via the properties dialogue, I can’t see a list of sub-Requirements. That means I have to use the Browser or a Requirements Document View to work on the sub-Requirements. Most of the time, I’d like to work in a spreadsheet-like view, the same as in any other type of model in PowerDesigner, like this list of Columns in a Table:

List of Columns

I can’t access a list of Requirements via the Model menu, so it doesn’t look like I can use my favourite editing approach – or can I?

The answer is that I can work on such a list – with a very simple model extension, I can add a ‘Sub-Requirements’ tab to the Requirement editor, like this one:

03 WebLibrary RQM - sub-reqs tab

Like any other list of objects in PowerDesigner, I can filter this list, edit single entries, edit multiple entries, change the sequence, and create new entries.

So, how is this possible? Simple, I exposed the existing collection of sub-Requirements on the new tab, by creating a new Form in a model extension.

04 Model Extension

This isn’t the place for detailed instructions for creating an extension, so I’ll limit this to a few pointers for you:

  • “Requirement” is a Metaclass
  • You can call the Form anything you like
  • “Requirements” is a Collection, not an Attribute

There are probably other areas in PowerDesigner where this technique is useful, let me know if you find one.