ER/Portal's Role Based Benefits

By: Gregory Keller

Abstract: Using Portal in various job roles is beneficial.

Tech Notes

Role-Based Benefits of Buying and Using ER/Studio Enterprise Portal

Greg Keller, Embarcadero Technologies

March 2009

ER/Studio Enterprise Portal:

    Unlocking Metadata for the Enterprise

ER/Studio is a veritable factory of information, enabling data architects and database developers to visualize, define and manage complex data models which contain valuable information many roles within the enterprise can benefit from: metadata. ER/Studio Enterprise Portal is the vehicle which exposes metadata to roles in the enterprise such as developers, DBAs, ETL and Decision Support personnel through sophisticated web-based searching and reporting capabilities.

The Portal is part of the ER/Studio Enterprise family of products and is used in conjunction with ER/Studio and its Enterprise collaboration and model management repository.

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The ER/Studio Enterprise Portal communicates metadata to a wide variety of roles in the enterprise to assist them with their own specific job tasks. This brief paper will walk through some of these beneficiaries and the positive impact Portal has to their job roles.

    Benefits For Developers

  • Searchable data model and metadata inventories
  • Increased understanding of enterprise data infrastructure
  • Awareness of pre-existing data assets and data definitions

The ER/Studio® Enterprise Portal (Portal) gives developers a searchable inventory of database models, reusable model patterns, and definitions of database objects (metadata) that they must wire and code the application infrastructure to. The Portal radically improves the speed and depth of knowledge that you can achieve on understanding your enterprise data infrastructure. As an example, you can search for pre-existing data assets which can be re-used - versus errantly re-creating them- and reduce the common issue of data redundancy. Moreover, your can ensure correct data types and other storage needs by searching the Portal for specific standards which must be used when creating objects such as tables.

    Benefits For Business Analysts

  • Access to critical data documentation and data semantics
  • Better data sourcing accuracy
  • Higher accuracy in leveraging the correct data

As a Business Analyst (BA), a title ranging from ‘knowledge workers’ to ‘line of business owners’ to ‘marketing analysts’ (e.g., roles who leverage corporate data for assembling critical reports required analysis), you benefit from the Portal by being able to quickly search, source, and know where specific types of data exists in data sources around your enterprise. You can ensure that you not only have ALL the relevant information in your compiled reports, but also the RIGHT data so that you can make critical business decisions. The Portal provides you with knowledge of where to source data, what systems and/or processes leverage, and critical documentation created by your enterprise and data architecture teams to describe the semantics of the data. This results in ensuring better data sourcing accuracy for reports and similar needs.

    Benefits For ETL Developers

  • Visual understanding of source and target data sources
  • Up-front knowledge of business rules applied to data
  • Explicit documentation helps avoid costly re-writes

As an ETL developer, you must understand specific business rules on how the data “behaves” in your systems to ensure any logic you write will not modify the meaning of the data when writing a complex extraction, transformation, and loading code and integrated data from production systems to warehouses and other decision support systems. The Portal provides you specific searchable metadata on data lineage information containing important contextual information input by the business itself to describe the data and any rules being enforced on it. This saves immeasurable cycles in having to re-write ETL code by ensuring you know upfront any nuances they must not affect. Furthermore, the Portal provides explicit documentation and visual understanding of the source and target data sources to mitigate complexity in wholly understanding the metadata involved in the ETL processes.

    Benefits For DBAs

  • Quick access to storage metrics and anticipated growth
  • Transparent view into data dependencies for impact analysis
  • Better understanding of models leads to less risk of downtime

As a Database Administrator (DBA), your focus is on performance, availability, and uptime SLAs, and will benefit by the Portal’s searchable inventory of database models. The Portal also provides various metrics on data storage and information to help you understand more about the capacity and space required of their systems. Furthermore, the Portal provides a browse-able inventory of production database systems with physical models that offer visual interpretations of dependencies between database objects (e.g., procedures with Table and View dependencies). This is monumentally critical so that as a DBA you can visually inspect a dependency model/graph of a database via the Portal to ensure that changes being made to specific objects have your dependants updated as well; providing less risk of downtime due to post facto forensics on ‘what broke’ after the change was input and the system was ground to a halt.

    Benefits For Data Architects

  • Searchable library of all enterprise data definitions
  • Pre-defined model templates to enforce standards
  • Promotes re-use by making data asset discovery a snap

As a Data Architects (DAs) you will be as frequent as an end-user and beneficiary of the Portal as the other constituencies in your IT organization. As the primary author of the Portal’s content (data models, metadata, definitions, etc.), the Portal provides a truly simplistic and efficient way to discover and re-use data assets through familiar search engine “like” approaches. At the enterprise level, you may have looked at, modified, modeled, or reviewed thousands of data definitions and simply cannot contain a memory footprint for that vast amount of information. The Portal provides ways to search for an identify data assets you can repurpose again for new projects in addition to leveraging pre-defined model templates for new projects to enforce modeler standards ultimately reducing object re-creation.

    Summary

ER/Studio Enterprise Portal is designed to unlock metadata to various roles in the enterprise to ensure productivity and higher accuracy in their job roles. It re-enforces the need for refined yet simplistic understanding of enterprise data and ensures that this critical information can be at nearly everyone’s fingertips that requires an immediate understanding of the meaning and whereabouts of data with their organization.

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Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of award-winning tools for application developers and database professionals so they can design systems right, build them faster and run them better, regardless of their platform or programming language. Ninety of the Fortune 100 and an active community of more than three million users worldwide rely on Embarcadero products to increase productivity, reduce costs, simplify change management and compliance and accelerate innovation. The company’s flagship tools include: Embarcadero® Change Manager™, CodeGear™ RAD Studio, DBArtisan®, Delphi®, ER/Studio®, JBuilder® and Rapid SQL®. Founded in 1993, Embarcadero is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices located around the world. Embarcadero is online at www.embarcadero.com.



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