Designing an integration landscape with IBM InfoSphere Foundation Tools and Information Server, Part 1: Planning an integration landscape

IBM InfoSphere Blueprint Director

This tutorial is an introduction to the use of IBM® InfoSphere® Blueprint Director, in the context of a project, to depict the target vision (or landscape) for the final solution and to provide guidance for subsequent project tasks. It is intended as the first of a series focused on a specific, common information integration scenario: the update of a Data Warehouse-Business Intelligence (DW-BI) information process.

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Starting your information project with IBM InfoSphere Blueprint Director

Blueprint Director strengthens the alignment of business and IT by providing visualization of a desired information environment and its evolution through a collaborative environment. Using Blueprint Director, teams can collaborate on actionable information blueprints that connect the business vision for the information project with the corresponding business and technical artifacts. Blueprint Director guides the team to apply recommended practices based on incorporated reference architectures and methodology.

Objectives

In this tutorial, you will:

  • Discover the Data Warehouse-Business Intelligence template and methods for InfoSphere Blueprint Director
  • Manage the end-to-end project vision for updating the data warehouse project
  • Link the blueprint to business and technical artifacts

Prerequisites

This tutorial assumes the following:

  • IBM InfoSphere Blueprint Director 2.0.1 is installed on your client workstation.
  • IBM InfoSphere Information Server 8.7 is installed and available to you in your environment. Contact your Information Server administrator for specific details.
  • The SCENARIO REFERENCE ASSETS (see Downloads) have been imported into your IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment. Contact your Information Server administrator for details. The steps required are included in Appendix A.
  • The Sample_Warehouse_V1.bpt file has been downloaded and saved to a local directory, such as c:\Temp\.

Scenario overview

In this tutorial, you will use InfoSphere Blueprint Director to govern your information project. Fictional Enterprise Architect Archie Aston provides context and added commentary.

Figure 1. Enterprise Architect Archie Aston
Picture of Archie

InfoSphere Blueprint Director templates

You can use templates to create a blueprint based on a standard set of best practices. The template provides a picture of a reference architecture associated with specific methods and best practices to help guide team members through the process of creating a new blueprint.

"I'm Archie Aston, the enterprise architect responsible for our data warehousing projects. When we started developing a new project in the past, my project vision document was a pretty-looking picture that nobody followed or tracked. Since we started using blueprints, our vision stays connected with reality, and it allows us to collaboratively execute based on a methodical approach. The initial data warehouse project turned out to be a big success."

"Our new project," Aston continued, "is intended to update our Data Warehouse with our newly acquired business units — specifically the BANK2 acquisition and its associated data assets."

Refer to the Scenario Reference Guide (see Downloads) for a quick summary of the initiative.

"When we acquired BANK 2, we wanted to harmonize our infrastructure and rationalize across common information. Instead of drawing my vision on the whiteboard in the conference room, I started to use IBM InfoSphere Blueprint Director, turning the vision document into a more governed artifact. I want to walk you through the process of using Blueprint Director and its templates, and then show you how to customize it for our new project, establishing an updated enterprise landscape."


Discovering the business-driven BI development template

Before starting this section of the tutorial, ensure that you have Blueprint Director installed on your client workstation.

Open Blueprint Director

Follow these steps:

  1. Find the IBM InfoSphere Blueprint Director icon on your desktop (as in Figure 2) or in your Start > Programs menu.
  2. Open Blueprint Director by double clicking on the InfoSphere Blueprint Director icon.
    Figure 2. Launch Blueprint Director
    Image shows icon for launching Blueprint Director
  3. Create a folder in which to store your blueprints.
    1. Select File > New > Folder.
    2. Enter a folder name, such as "Tutorial."
    3. Click OK.
  4. Select File > New > Blueprint. You can now create a new blueprint either from an existing template or create one from scratch.
    Figure 3. Create new blueprint
    Screen cap shows selecting blueprint
  5. Common reference architectures are represented through a number of out-of-the-box templates like "Business Driven BI Development," "Managed Data Cleansing," and "Delivering Trusted Master Data," as seen in Figure 4.
    Figure 4. Available templates
    Figure shows Busines Driven BI Development selected
  6. Create a new blueprint from a template:
    1. Enter a name such as "My_BI_Blueprint.bpt."
    2. The Destination Folder you previously created; Tutorial should be selected by default.
    3. Select the Business Driven BI Development template.
    4. Click Finish.
  7. A new blueprint, based on the Business Driven BI Development blueprint template, should now be visible.
    Figure 5. New blueprint from template
    Screen cap shows My_BI_Blueprint (root-diagram)

Working in the Blueprint Director canvas

There are a number of components on the Blueprint Director canvas to become familiar with.

Explore the Blueprint Director workspace

First, there is the canvas (or diagram) itself where you do your work, as seen in Figure 5. It is a visual design environment that allows you to bring together and connect the elements from the palette to form a visual of your target landscape. Note that the canvas supports multiple levels, going from high-level concept to low-level detail.

Next, there is a palette of free form sketching elements subsequently placed in the blueprint as seen in Figure 6. The palette provides elements that can be added to the blueprint diagram through drag and drop. The elements (for example, CDC, ETL, Routine, Database, MDM, Warehouse, etc.) are classified into categories (such as Groups, Operations, Analytics, etc.). This list is extensible so you can add your own elements. This is your basic toolbox, and it allows you to create groups of items, identify data sources or consumers, primary operations, etc.

Figure 6. The blueprint palette
Image shows that palette includes groups, operations, analytics, consumers and delivery, data stores, files, conceptual models, and connections

The top level of the blueprint based on the Business Driven BI Development Blueprint template contains a number of these elements, including:

  • A series of group elements such as Structured Sources and External Feeds termed asset sets contained within the domain element called Data Sources.
  • General flow connectors (the arrows) link these data sources to a routine element called Integrate Sources within the Data Integration domain element.
  • And the flow continues on to the final domain element called Consumers, which includes the user element called BI Consumers and the application element called Analytical Applications.
  • Where the templates give you a structured starting point, the palette elements allow you to easily modify the blueprint to reflect the requirements of your project. Elements already on the canvas may also be removed if they do not reflect the current needs.

At the bottom of the Blueprint Director workspace are several navigation tools: an Outline picture of your blueprint; a Milestone tab; and the Blueprint Navigator as seen in Figure 7. The latter is an organizational view of your blueprint and can be one approach for quickly assessing lower-level content as well as finding and opening blueprints from your defined folders.

  • In the first view of this example, the Data Sources domain is expanded to show four underlying sets of categorized data sources. In the second view, the Structured Sources detail has been expanded further to show an underlying sub-diagram that contains a further set of untrusted and trusted data domains.
    Figure 7. The Blueprint Navigator -- Data sources expanded
    Image shows underlying sets of categorized data sources
    Figure 8. The Blueprint Navigator -- Structured Sources detail expanded
    Image shows underlying sub-diagram

Use elements from the Blueprint Navigator

You can select and drag elements from the Navigator view onto a canvas view. This not only establishes consistent naming on a sub-diagram, but establishes consistent properties and links that might otherwise be missed.

  • The template is grouped into several domains: Data Sources, Data Integration, etc. This is the relatively abstract top-level view, which makes it easier to communicate the broad project vision to your team.
  • Each element on the canvas has various context-specific properties, such as a Name and Description. These properties are visible when the element is selected in the lower right-hand corner in the Properties View, as seen in Figure 9. Initially, the properties may be minimal, but they can add a considerable degree of detail to each component on the canvas without cluttering the canvas itself.
    Figure 9. Properties View
    Image shows that it contains property description and value

Edit a property

Try editing one of the properties.

  • Select the Integrate Sources element on the canvas. You should see the view in Figure 9 in the Properties View.
  • Highlight Description.
  • Place your cursor in the box under the Value column for Description and click.
  • Enter Standard ETL process.

Your text is now added. If you want to save for a subsequent session, select File > Save or the Save icon.

  • Most elements on the canvas are single items. There are several elements, though, that serve as collections, allowing you to contain multiple elements. If you select the Groups item on the palette, you will find three types of collection elements: Asset Sets, Domains, and Projects.
    • An Asset Set is a single element that represents a set of objects, such as Data Stores or Conceptual Models.
    • A Domain is a general box where each domain has one or more elements (for example, the Data Integration domain contains the Integrate Sources element).
    • A Project is another general box or collection that can have one or more elements. The template you are working from does not show any Project elements, but these can be useful if you intend to divide an initiative into several projects.
    • Any element, though, may represent a larger set where the detail is stored in a sub-diagram. It is possible to drill down into the specific subject area views. You can tell if there is a linked, lower-level subject area if there is an orange plus sign (+) at the top-left corner of an element.
      Figure 10. Link to sub-diagram
      Image shows location of plus sign
  • Click on this plus sign (+) or double-click on the Integrate Sources element to drill down into more detail of the ETL process. The Integrate Sources sub-diagram is now open, and you should see detail as in Figure 11.
    The highlighted tab at the top of the canvas will show you the diagram you are currently working with. You can easily move between the diagrams simply by selecting the tab.
    Figure 11. Integrate Sources sub-diagram
    Image sshows integrate sources tab
  • Notice how the items on the left and right of this sub-diagram are in gray italics. This indicates that these elements have been added from another diagram by dragging them from the Blueprint Navigator. As noted, this helps to ensure that changes to these items are synchronized across all diagrams.

You may have noticed that the right-hand side of the Blueprint Director workspace contains three content browsers as seen below in Figure 12.

  • A Method Browser that displays the outline of the method associated with the template diagram. You can click on an outline entry (a phase or a step), then a page with the detailed description will open in the middle (same location as the diagram). Method steps can also be associated with blueprint elements in the diagram; you can also then navigate to the details page from that area.
  • An Asset Browser (tab only shown in Figure 10) that browses multiple IBM InfoSphere Information Server metadata repositories based on a connection profile and from which you can drag and drop entries (a database, a job, etc.) onto the canvas. These elements will be automatically linked so you can open IBM InfoSphere Metadata Workbench to view the metadata details from the blueprint.
  • A Glossary Browser (tab only shown in Figure 10), which is the standard IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary Eclipse plug-in, displays the glossary categories and terms in a tree view and the detailed definition in the property view. You can drag and drop glossary terms onto the blueprint diagram to define conceptual entities or tag elements with terms.
Figure 12. Browser views
Image shows Business Driven BI Development highlighted

InfoSphere Blueprint Director methods

A method provides guidance on recommended roles, tasks, deliverables, and dependencies for the overall project.

Methods also allow you to map components or elements of your blueprint to standard development lifecycle tasks.

This template includes a set of methods called Business Driven BI Development. You can browse this method by clicking on any plus sign (+) item to open the sub-tree. Additionally, you can look at the details of any method by double-clicking on the item.

  1. Expand the Methods as shown in Figure 12.
    1. As needed, click the plus sign (+) on Business Driven BI Development.
    2. Click the plus sign (+) on Define Information Integration to see the specific capabilities noted in the picture.
  2. Select Define Information Integration and double-click. In the main canvas, you will see a new tab that describes this phase as in Figure 13.
    Figure 13. Define Information Integration phase
    Image shows tabs for description, tasks, roles, and artifacts
  3. Click on the Tasks tab to see what capabilities (tasks) are included in this phase as in Figure 14.
    1. You should see a diagram outlining the sequence of capabilities (related tasks), as well as a list of the same capabilities.
    2. Click on either the picture or the list item called Define Information Flow to Warehouse.
      Figure 14. Define Information Integration tasks
      Image shows to choose either picture or text for define information flow to warehouse
    3. You will now be at the description for this lower-level Define Information Flow to Warehouse capability.
    4. Click to the Tasks tab in Define Information Flow to Warehouse to see the view of all lower-level tasks as in Figure 14. Clicking further on these tasks will show detail method content for each task.
    5. You can use the arrow icons in the upper-left corner of this view to go back or forward between viewed pages.
Figure 15. Define Information Flow to Warehouse
Image shows to click on item to view task detail

You have now gained a basic familiarity with the Blueprint Director workspace and the most common views. You may choose:

  • File > Close to close a specific tab in the Blueprint Director canvas
  • File > Close All to close all tabs in the Blueprint Director canvas
  • File > Exit to quit Blueprint Director (leaving all items in your view as they currently are for your subsequent return to Blueprint Director)

Updating the end-to-end project vision for our data warehouse project

Figure 16. Enterprise Architect Archie Aston
Archie Aston

Archie Aston: "Let's get started applying those methods to our project, the BANK2 acquisition. I noted previously that I created a blueprint for our warehouse project. I used the Business Driven BI Development template, which was helpful to get me started, but has been adjusted to our actual information flow. The BANK 2 acquisition will have an impact on our architecture. We need to make sure the new BANK2 customer data sources are captured and added into our existing blueprint, as well as add components for subsequent data quality, application service, and replication support in the customer landscape."

We need to do a number of things as part of this exercise:

  1. Import the existing Data Warehouse project blueprint into your Blueprint Director.
  2. Add a new Data Store to the blueprint, including properties and a sub-diagram.
  3. Connect that Data Store to relevant methods.
  4. Add palette items and a sub-diagram to the blueprint for Data Quality Monitoring including properties and reference elements.
  5. Create project milestones, associate the new elements with specific milestones, and view the blueprint at key milestone points.
  6. Set up a connection to your IBM Information Server environment.
  7. View and connect the new Data Store to relevant Information Server assets.

Once you've completed these tasks, you can save the updated blueprint as the new template for others to work from.

Before starting this section of the tutorial, ensure that you have Blueprint Director opened on your client workstation. For steps 6 and 7, you need to ensure that an IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment is available, and that the SCENARIO REFERENCE ASSETS have been imported into your IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment (as described in Appendix A).


Step 1: Find and import existing blueprint

If you still have Blueprint Director open from the last section, or exited Blueprint Director leaving the My_BI_Blueprint.bpt file open, you will start in the same view as when you left, similar to Figure 5. You may close all currently open blueprint diagrams if that is the case.

Open the existing blueprint for the Data Warehouse project:

  1. Select File > Import Blueprint.
    Figure 17. Image shows importing blueprint
    Image shows that import blueprint is selected
  2. In the Import Blueprints dialog, next to From directory, select Browse.
    Figure 18. Browse to blueprint directory
    Image shows brose selected
  3. This brings up your local directory listing.
  4. Find the folder to which you downloaded or copied the Sample_Warehouse_01.bpt file and select that folder.
  5. You should see the available blueprints.
  6. Check the entry for the Sample_Warehouse_01.bpt file.
    Figure 19. Select the blueprint
    Image shows selecting the blueprint
  7. In the Import Blueprints dialog, next to Into folder, select Browse.
  8. This will bring up the Import into Folder dialog, which lists your current folder structure on your system for your blueprints.
  9. If you created a folder called Tutorial earlier, you can select that now and click OK.
    Figure 20. Select the blueprint folder
    Image shows tutorial folder selected
  10. Click Finish.
  11. You should now see the Sample_Warehouse_01 blueprint as in Figure 20. (If the blueprint does not automatically open, refer to the Blueprint Navigator as in Figure 7 to select and open it.)
Figure 21. Sample Warehouse blueprint
Image shows data sources, data integration, data repositories, and analytics

You should note that the Sample Warehouse blueprint is substantially trimmed down from the My_BI_Blueprint you created and saved earlier. Since the Sample Warehouse blueprint was also created based on the Business Driven BI Development template, they both use the same Methods, providing consistency across projects of the same type.


Step 2: Add a new data store and sub-diagram to the blueprint

"We recently acquired a new company which has become the BANK2 line of business. We need to reflect this in the blueprint at the appropriate levels. The information that we have on BANK2 relevant to our data warehouse is that it has these features:

  • A source database we will call BANK2 Operational Sources
  • Three tables relevant to Customer Data called BANK_SAVINGS, BANK_CHECKING, and BANK_INVESTMENTS
  • Two tables containing lookup or reference information for Customer Data called BANK_BRANCH and BANK_DEMOGRAPHICS
  • Since we do not know the state or quality of this data, it will initially fall into our Untrusted Source zone, though once the merger is finalized, the source will move to our Trusted Source zone.

Blueprint guidance

  • A template is a template.
    • You need to tailor to your needs.
  • Anything can be added, changed, or deleted.
    • Use like a whiteboard to shape your project.
    • Delete the extraneous.
  • Keep high-level focal points simple.
    • Your root (top-level) sketch creates your "first impression."
    • Use sub-diagrams to encapsulate and drill into more detail.
  • Focus on the end goal of the project.
    • The diagram is not the methodology.
    • The diagram is not the project plan.
    • The diagram is not the tools used.
    • Focus on deployment or deployable artifacts for your landscape such as data stores, files, routines, jobs, queries, reports.
    • Development artifacts (specifications, data models, tools/products used, etc.) are usually not appropriate for the blueprint.
  • Communicate and gain consensus.
    • Use the diagram to aid communication across teams.
    • Ensure everyone has the same vision.

"We also know that we will need to create an extract from BANK2 to feed into our data warehouse staging table. You can start the process of updating the blueprint with this information."

Working from the Sample_Warehouse_01 blueprint, as shown in Figure 21, you can review the high-level diagram. On the left-hand side of the diagram is a domain group called Data Sources. While you could add a data source for BANK2 at this level, this is not a best practice for the high-level landscape.

  1. Click the plus sign (+) by the Structured Sources asset group to open the sub-diagram.
    Figure 22. Structured sources
    Image shows location of plus sign
  2. You should now be viewing the Structured Sources sub-diagram. You can see there is already a placeholder note regarding BANK2.
    Figure 23. Structured Sources sub-diagram
    Image shows unstrusted and trusted sources
  3. You are ready to add a new data store for BANK2.
  4. Move your mouse to the palette window, find the Data Stores group, and click the Data Stores item to open that group of blueprint elements. Select the element listed as operational data store (ODS).
    Figure 24. Data Stores palette group
    shows ODS selected
  5. To add the ODS element to your blueprint, you may:
    • Click on the element, go to the blueprint canvas, and click at the spot where you wish to place the element.
    • Or click on the element and while holding down your left mouse button, drag the element to the spot where you wish to place the element.
    • To place multiple copies of the same element on the blueprint diagram, hold CTRL while you click on the element, then click at the multiple spots where you wish to place the elements.
  6. Place the ODS element on your blueprint within the Untrusted Sources domain, which is a group element that can contain multiple items.
    Figure 25. Place the ODS element in the blueprint
    Image shows dotted line moving ODS from one pane to the next
  7. Click on the new ODS element on your canvas to select it.
  8. In the lower-right corner of the Blueprint Director environment, the Properties tab for the new ODS element should be visible.
    Figure 26. Open the Properties view for the new ODS element
    Image shows properties tab
  9. On the Core tab in the Properties view, edit the Properties as follows:
    • Description: BANK2 Operational Source
    • Name: BANK2 Operational Source
    • Owner/Assigned To: Bart Brecken
    • Steward: Bart Brecken
  10. Once you have completed editing, select File > Save or click the Save icon to save your work.
  11. The Properties view should look like Figure 27 and, with the updated name change, your diagram should look similar to Figure 28.
    Figure 27. Updated Properties view for the new ODS element
    Image shows BANK2 Operational Store
    Figure 28. Updated diagram view for the new ODS element
    Image: BANK2 will fall into the untrusted zone, but eventually will move to the trusted zone

"We still wish to add further detail for the BANK2 operational source. However, we do not want to clutter up this level of the blueprint with all the detail, just as we did not add detail on the structured sources to the top-level diagram."

  1. Right-click on the BANK2 Operational Source element to open a task list.
  2. Select and click on Create Sub-diagram task as seen in Figure 29.
    Figure 29. Create sub-diagram
    Image shows create sub-diagram selected
  3. A blank canvas will open in the diagram window.
  4. You will add the following seven Conceptual Entities to this blank window.
  5. Open the palette for Conceptual Models.
  6. Select the Conceptual Entity element.
  7. You may either drag seven Conceptual Entity elements onto the canvas or hold the CTRL key and click seven times on the canvas.
    Figure 30. Add Conceptual Entities
    Image shows that Conceptual Entity represents an information element, such as a dimension, fact, or measure
  8. By selecting each Conceptual Entity in turn, update the Name Property for the elements to:
    • An entity called Customer Data
    • Three tables relevant to Customer Data called BANK_SAVINGS, BANK_CHECKING, and BANK_INVESTMENTS
    • An entity called Customer Data Reference
    • Two tables containing lookup or reference information called BANK_BRANCH and BANK_DEMOGRAPHICS
  9. When complete, your sub-diagram should appear like Figure 31.
  10. Click File > Save or click the Save icon.
    Figure 31. Edited Conceptual Entities
    Image shows Conceptual Entity: customer data

Elaborating concepts

For each new conceptual entity on the sub-diagram, you typically want to elaborate the high-level detail for each as much as possible, such as Name, Description, Owner, and Subject Area. For lower-level detail such as attributes or fields, add a sub-diagram. This helps keep your diagrams from becoming unreadable.

  1. Next, connect the Conceptual Entities together using the General Link connection.
    • Note that for connection elements, you need to first select the element on the palette, click on the first element you wish to link, then while holding the left mouse button, drag the cursor to the second element you wish to link.
  2. When complete, your sub-diagram should appear like Figure 32.
  3. If you select a link, you can also update or edit the Properties for a link, such as providing a name (label) for the connection.
    Figure 32. Add Connections between elements
    Image shows where to click and drag elements
  4. Click File > Save or the Save icon.

"You have now updated the blueprint to reflect where the BANK2 Operational Source will fit in the architectural landscape and incorporated the concepts relevant to that data store in a specific sub-diagram."


Step 3: Connect the Data Store to relevant methods

"I am going to meet with Brandon Horn, our data analyst (see scenario overview in Downloads) to discuss the status of the BANK 2 source, which is currently classified as untrusted. The methodology associated with this blueprint will give us good guidance for this discussion and help Brandon plan for subsequent project activities. Now that you have added the new operational source to the blueprint, you can connect it to some relevant methods, specifically: Discover Sources, Analyze Sources, and Assess Source System Data Quality."

  1. To add a method to an element in the blueprint diagram, you select a method and drag it onto the element.
  2. Select the Method Browser tab and expand from the high-level methodology Business Driven BI Development by clicking the plus sign (if it isn't already expanded) as in Figure 12.
  3. Expand the Discover and Analyze phases of the methodology by clicking the plus sign (+) next to each. You should see the Method Browser.
    Figure 33. Method Browser view of Discover and Analyze phases
    Image shows explorer view of method browser
  4. Click on Discover Sources so it is highlighted in blue.
  5. While holding down your left mouse button, select and drag Discover Sources across your diagram until you see a plus sign (+) appear the BANK2 Operational Source element as in Figure 30.
  6. Release the left mouse button.
  7. A small "m" in a blue circle should appear to the upper left of the BANK2 Operational Source element.
    Figure 34. Add method to diagram element
    Image shows moving Discover Sources across the diagram
  8. Repeat the above steps to add Analyze Sources and Assess Source System Data Quality from the Analyze phase to the BANK2 Operational Source element.
  9. When you have completed adding those method capabilities to the element, click on the "m" in the blue circle to the upper left of the BANK2 Operational Source element.
  10. You should now see three methods for the BANK2 Operational Source element.
    Figure 35. Methods added to diagram element
    Image shows BANK2 operational source
  11. Click on Analyze Sources in the list of methods for BANK2 Operational Source.
  12. Details of this method and its content will now be visible in your canvas as in Figure 36.
  13. Close the Discover Sources method browser.

Method content

The Method Browser helps you understand detailed guidance (roles, activity, deliverable, etc.). This will reduce project risk through clarity on who is expected to do what, when, and why, as well as providing guidance or links to guidance on how these tasks can be performed. The Method content is organized so that it maps components into standard development lifecycle processes and incorporates best practice approaches for specific tasks relevant to the template.

"For each of the method capabilities, there is detailed method content with description, specific tasks, role assignments, expected deliverables, and in some cases, references to online articles and manuals. This guidance will be helpful in the meeting with Brandon where we can discuss the progress of these steps together. It is Brandon's responsibility to apply these tasks, but that is beyond our focus here."

Figure 36. View of the Method Content
Image shows Operations and Analytics palette elements

"You have now connected an element to the relevant methods that will be applied during the project. This helps others understand what is required to deliver that piece of the blueprint landscape."


Step 4: Communicate changes to the blueprint for a new function

"We want to use our blueprint to communicate the changes required by the BANK2 acquisition to other development teams involved in the larger project. We want to highlight additions needed to the blueprint to reflect our new requirement for data quality monitoring for the BANK2 sources. This will give you the opportunity to become more familiar with the various elements on the palette, adding methods, and using references in the sub-diagrams. We will start with the data quality monitoring requirement. Here are the details we need to add to the blueprint for this element:"

  • Add a Data Quality Monitoring element to the high-level blueprint.
  • Add general flow connectors from the Structured Sources group and the Integrate Sources element to the new Data Quality Monitoring element.
  • Add general flow connectors from the new Data Quality Monitoring element to the Warehouse and the Reports elements.
  • Add three methods to the new Data Quality Monitoring element:
    • Define Information Integrity Policies
    • Develop Information Integrity Policies
    • Deploy Information Integrity Policies
  • Create a sub-diagram for the new Data Quality Monitoring element.
  • Add reference elements into your sub-diagram for the two sources — the Warehouse, and the Reports elements.
  • Save a diagram as an image file to include in other documents.
  • Print a diagram.

"Once completed, we can use this detail to communicate with our data quality specialist."

The following steps provide general guidance to complete the above set of requirements. You will start by adding a data quality monitoring element in the position shown in Figure 37.

Figure 37. Add element for data quality monitoring
Image shows Monitor Data Quality element added into Data Integration domain

Selecting palette elements

While there are options in Blueprint Director to add your own palette icons, from a communication standpoint, you and your organization may find it easiest to establish common usage patterns for existing palette elements that people clearly recognize.

You may wish to use some or all of these guidelines:

  • Establish and publish consistent criteria for palette elements within and across blueprints.
  • Use effective naming of elements and properties to define the specifics of the element.
  • Work details into sub-diagrams for clarity and consistency.
  • Focus on the goal of effective communication across teams.
  1. Look over the contents of each of the palettes as shown in Figure 38. There are no elements explicitly called "Data Quality" or "Data Quality Monitoring." You could choose from several options:
    • Operations > Data Rule (common for simple evaluation of specific conditions — may be more appropriate for your sub-diagram than your high-level view).
    • Operations > Routine (these elements are used in many delivered templates for processes such as Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) jobs; if your data quality monitoring will run as such, this may be a reasonable choice).
    • Analytics > Instrumentation (labeled as "evaluates data against a defined set of metrics" as seen in Figure 36 — probably a good choice for the goal).
    • Analytics > Scoring (labeled as "evaluates data according to defined criteria" — could also be a reasonable choice).
    For this exercise, use the Instrumentation element. Remember that there are no wrong answers.
    Figure 38. palette elements
    Image shows Operations and Analytics palette elements
  2. After you have added the palette element of your choice, select the new element and go to the Properties View.
  3. Update the Properties as follows:
    • Description: BANK2 Data Quality Monitoring
    • Name: Monitor Data Quality
  4. Find and select the palette element: Connections > General Flow
    • This element represents a flow of data or information from one point to another.
    • Similar to the task shown in Figure 32, add General Flow connections from the Structured Sources and the Integrate Sources elements to your new Monitor Data Quality element.
    • Add General flow connections from your new Monitor Data Quality element to your Warehouse and Reports elements.
  5. After adding your new element and the general flow connections, your blueprint should look similar to Figure 39.
    Figure 39. Addition of Monitor Data Quality element
    Image shows Monitor Data Quality element added into Data Integration domain
  6. Next, find and add three methods to your Monitor Data Quality element:
    • Define Information Integrity Policies
    • Develop Information Integrity Policies
    • Deploy Information Integrity Policies
  7. These methods appear under the following phases:
    • Define Information Integration
    • Develop Information Integration
    • Deploy Information Integration
  8. Your Monitor Data Quality element should show an "m" in a blue circle, indicating that there are methods attached to the element. Clicking on the "m" should show these methods.
    Figure 40. Methods attached to Monitor Data Quality
    Image shows display of Define, Develop, and Deploy Information Integrity Policies method references

Using placeholders in a blueprint

Blueprints are iterative documents that are expanded over time through discussions, meetings, etc.

You will frequently have situations where information is not yet available, yet you want to convey that something needs to occur. In these situations, an element can serve as a placeholder that can either be replaced later or expanded via a new sub-diagram that provides the details.

Use the addition of Notes to help people recognize where placeholders exist or to prompt for subsequent updates.

  1. Select and right-click on the Monitor Data Quality element.
  2. Click on Create sub-diagram, shown in Figure 29.
  3. A new, blank canvas will open in the diagram window.
  4. At this point, you do not have details regarding how the Data Quality Monitoring function will occur, but add an Instrumentation element to the middle of the canvas to serve as a placeholder.
  5. In the properties for this new element update:
    • Description: Monitoring Process TBD
    • Name: Monitor Data Quality
  6. Select and right-click on this new element and click Add Note.
  7. A sticky note will appear on the canvas, and you can add the following text: "This process is TBD" and press Enter.
  8. Save your progress to this point, similar to Figure 41.
    Figure 41. Create Monitor Data Quality sub-diagram
    Image shows new sub-diagram with instrumentation element labeled Monitor Data Quality and a note
    Using references to elements that exist elsewhere in your blueprint is convenient and useful — convenient in that you do not have to retype names and properties, useful as the references include any sub-diagrams, methods, and assets associated with the element. References are found using the Blueprint Navigator.
  9. Expand the Blueprint Navigator for the Sample_Warehouse_01.bpt, specifically for the Data Sources.
    Figure 42. Expand Blueprint Navigator
    Image shows Structured Sources sub-diagram expanded in the Blueprint Navigator
  10. Note that you can recognize specific items from each level of your diagram by name and by icon. For example:
    • Data Sources is a domain element that appears in your high-level diagram.
    • Under Data Sources is an asset set element for Structured Sources.
    • Structured Sources has an underlying sub-diagram.
    • The Structured Sources sub-diagram contains 2 domain elements: Trusted Sources and Untrusted Sources.
    • Under the Untrusted Sources domain element is the BANK2 Operational Source.
  11. Select the BANK2 Operational Source element from this Blueprint Navigator tree and drag it onto your sub-diagram as seen in Figure 43.
    Figure 43. Adding a reference element
    Image shows dragging BANK2 Operational Source onto canvas as reference element
  12. Visually, the reference element shows text in gray italics, followed by the "(Ref)" notation.
  13. Note that the link to the sub-diagram you created earlier is carried along with the element. If you click on the plus sign (+), you can open relevant sub-diagram details.
  14. Now that you have the reference element on your canvas, add a General Flow connection from it to your Monitor Data Quality element.
  15. Similarly, find the following reference elements and add them to your sub-diagram:
    • From the Data Integration domain, select and add the Integrate Sources element. If you happen to select the Navigator item called "Integrate Sources (Subdiagram)," you will find that you cannot add that to your sub-diagram as it is a pointer/organizer rather than an actual reference element.
    • From the Data Repositories domain, select and add the Warehouse element.
    • From the Analytics domain, select and add the Reports element.
  16. Add a General Flow connection from the Integrate Sources reference to your Monitor Data Quality element.
  17. Add General Flow connections from your Monitor Data Quality element to the Warehouse and Reports references.
  18. Save your work. Your diagram should be similar to Figure 44.
    Figure 44. Sub-diagram with references
    Image shows four reference elements in a sub-diagram
  19. If you find that you want to align or arrange the elements on the canvas better, you can select one or more elements, right-click, and select the Format option. For example, to align the two elements on the left of the diagram, from the Format option, select Align > Center.
    Figure 45. Format and align elements
    Image shows selecting Format-Align-Center to organize elements

Now that you've created the sub-diagram for the Data Quality Monitoring function, you can make this view available for others to discuss:

  1. From your sub-diagram view, right-click on an open area of the canvas (not on an element).
  2. Select File > Save as Image File.
Figure 46. Save Diagram Image
Image shows to right-click on blueprint canvas to display File-Save as Image File
  • You will bring up a Save Image dialog box.
Figure 47. Save Image dialog
Image shows Save Image dialog
  • Enter or browse to the folder on your client workstation where you want to save the file.
  • The filename will default to your blueprint name; change that as you want to.
  • Select the image type from the drop-down list.
  • Optionally choose to Export to HTML for an HTML format of the diagram.
  • Click OK.
  • If you subsequently browse on your client workstation to the directory chosen, you should now find your image file in the format chosen; you could subsequently attach to an email, add to a Microsoft® Word® or Powerpoint® document, etc.

You can also choose to print your current or all diagrams from your blueprint. As with saving an image file, simply right-click on an open area of your canvas and choose File > Print. You will see a standard print dialog box where you can select from your available printers. Print options include the current diagram page, currently open diagrams, or the entire blueprint.

"You have now added new elements to reflect changes to the blueprint for the project, created a sub-diagram with references from other parts of the blueprint, and saved your diagram to facilitate communication with other members of your project team."


Step 5: Create project milestones and associate elements with specific milestones

"Blueprint Director Version 2.0.1 adds the ability to create project milestones and to link elements to those specific milestones. Where changes are occurring to an existing blueprint, this is useful for understanding the steps or stages that will occur. We want to add three milestones to our project at this point (one for our BANK2 extract and integration, two for our Monitor Data Quality component), attach the relevant elements to these milestones, and see how our diagrams appear based on the milestone views."

To start, you will need to create the milestones:

  • Select Blueprint > Manage Milestones.
Figure 48. Manage Milestones
Image shows Manage Milestones menu option under Blueprint menu
  • Optionally, you may go to the Timeline tab in the bottom left of your workspace (adjacent to the Blueprint Navigator tab) and click the Manage Milestones button.
Figure 49. Manage Milestones from Timeline tab
Image shows managing milestones from timeline
  • Either approach will open the Milestone dialog shown in Figure 50.
Figure 50. Milestone Dialog
Image shows display of Manage Milestones dialog
  • Click the Add button.
  • The Milestone Properties can now be updated as follows:
    • Name: M1
    • Owner: Your name
    • Proposed Date: Q1
    • Description: Milestone 1 — BANK2 initial integration
  • Click Apply.
  • You should now see one milestone highlighted.
Figure 51. Milestone 1 added
Image shows Milestone M1 added to Milestone list
  • Repeat the steps to add the second milestone as follows:
    • Name: M2
    • Owner: your name
    • Proposed Date: Q2
    • Description: Milestone 2 — Monitor Incoming Data Quality
  • Repeat the steps to add the third milestone as follows:
    • Name: M3
    • Owner: your name
    • Proposed Date: Q3
    • Description: Milestone 3 — Store and Report Data Quality
  • Where you are changing an existing blueprint, it can be useful to set a base milestone — a starting point that serves as a default for your current landscape. Add one additional milestone as follows:
    • Name: M0
    • Owner: your name
    • Proposed Date: base
    • Description: Current Environment
  • Ensure that you apply your additions. When you have completed these milestones, your dialog should appear like Figure 52.
  • If you need to reorder milestones in your list (such as moving M0 to the top), select a milestone, then use the Up or Down buttons to adjust the sequence.
  • Close the Milestone dialog box.
Figure 52. Additional milestones added
Image shows milestones M0, M1, M2, and M3 added to Milestone list

Next, you need to attach milestones to elements in your blueprint. You will start with the elements for milestone 1 — integrating your BANK2 data source:

  • Browse to your Structured Sources sub-diagram (you may either use the Blueprint Navigator or click the plus sign (+) from the Structured Sources element on your high-level diagram).
  • Select the BANK2 Operational Source element.
  • Go to the Properties view.
  • Under Properties, select the Milestones tab.
Figure 53. Properties Milestone tab
Image shows setting Show at milestone property
  • Use the drop-down selection to change the Show at setting to M1.
Figure 54. Set milestone
Image shows Show at milestone property set at milestone M1
  • Ensure that your Structured Sources sub-diagram is visible on the canvas.
  • Select the Timeline tab (adjacent to the Blueprint Navigator).
  • Click the box Enable read-only blueprint view by timeline.
  • The timeline should start at M0, and your BANK2 Operational Source should no longer be visible.
  • Move the timeline to M1, and the BANK2 Operational Source should now be visible.
Figure 55. Viewing milestones
Image shows display of milestone timeline and the blueprint at milestone M1
  • Uncheck the Enable read-only blueprint view by timeline box by clicking on it.
  • Close the Structured Sources sub-diagram.
  • Open the Monitor Data Quality sub-diagram (you may either use the Blueprint Navigator or click on the plus sign (+) from the Monitor Data Quality element on your high-level diagram).
  • Select the Monitor Data Quality element in the sub-diagram.
  • Go to the Properties view.
  • Under Properties, select the Milestones tab as in Figure 53.
  • Use the drop-down selection to change the Show at setting to M2, similar to Figure 54.
  • Select the Timeline tab (adjacent to the Blueprint Navigator).
  • Click the box labeled Enable read-only blueprint view by timeline. The timeline should start at M0. Note that neither the BANK2 Operational Source nor the Monitor Data Quality will be visible at this point in the timeline.
  • Advance the timeline to M1. The BANK2 Operational Source reference will appear.
  • Advance the timeline to M2. The Monitor Data Quality element will appear. Note that all inbound and outbound flows appear with this element including those flows to the Warehouse and Reports reference.
  • Uncheck the Enable read-only blueprint view by timeline box by clicking it.

Designing blueprints with milestones

You may need to adjust or add elements to effectively convey what happens in the landscape as milestones change since the milestones reflect when the elements shown in the blueprint appear, not the connections between elements.

By shifting between the regular and milestone views, looking at what appears or does not appear at each milestone, you can quickly gauge whether your blueprint contains embedded assumptions about specific processes or is missing processes that may in fact be required for subsequent steps.

Since you want to reflect in your blueprint that the third milestone represents the addition of the outbound aspect of monitoring data quality, this implies that you need to add at least one additional element to your blueprint:

  • For distinctiveness, choose the Analytics > Scoring element from the palette and drag onto your canvas to the right of the Monitor Data Quality element and to the left of the Warehouse and Reports references.
    • Change the Name Property of this new element to read Score & Report Data Quality.
  • Change the General Flow connection that goes from Monitor Data Quality to the Warehouse reference to go from the Score & Report Data Quality element to the Warehouse reference by:
    • Selecting the General Flow connection by clicking on it.
    • Placing your cursor over the left end of the connection, clicking to grab the end.
    • Dragging the end to the Score & Report Data Quality element and releasing the left mouse button.
  • Repeat the steps to change the General Flow connection that currently goes from Monitor Data Quality to the Reports reference to go from the Score & Report Data Quality element to the Reports reference.
  • Add an General Flow connection from the Monitor Data Quality element to the Score & Report Data Quality element.
  • Select the Score & Report Data Quality element.
    • Go to the Milestone tab
    • Set the Show at setting to M3
  • Save your work.
  • Now in the Timeline tab, view the milestones by clicking the Enable read-only blueprint view by timeline box.
  • Follow the milestones from M0-M3 to view the changes as shown below.
Figure 56. Milestone progression — M0
Image shows display of Monitor Data Quality sub-diagram at milestone M0
Figure 57. Milestone progression — M1
Image shows display of the Monitor Data Quality sub-diagram at milestone M1
Figure 58. Milestone progression — M2
Image shows display of the Monitor Data Quality sub-diagram at milestone M2
Figure 59. Milestone progression — M3
Image shows display of the Monitor Data Quality sub-diagram at milestone M3
  • As a final step, return to your high-level diagram and disable the Timeline view if it is still active.
  • Select your high-level Monitor Data Quality element, go to the Properties view, and on the Milestone tab, set the Show at setting to M2.
  • Enable the Timeline view again and start from M0.
  • Notice that certain high-level items appear with yellow circles in the background as in Figures 60 and 61; this signifies that lower-level elements are appearing at these milestones.
Figure 60. High-level milestone progression — M1
Image shows display of high-level blueprint at milestone M1
Figure 61. High-level milestone progression — M2
Image shows display of high-level blueprint at milestone M2
  • Save your work.

"You have now enabled the blueprint to reflect some of the key milestones of this project. Just as you did with the base high-level and sub-diagrams, you can also save the images or print the milestone views of the high-level and sub-diagrams to facilitate communication."


Step 6: Set up connections to your IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment

"Instead of building out a blueprint entirely by hand, we can utilize the ability of Blueprint Director to connect to existing assets whether information captured in our IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment, external files or URLs, or data models stored in IBM InfoSphere Data Architect. To add some of these assets, we need to establish connections to where the information resides. In this step, we will add connections to an IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary and to an Information Server environment. The Business Glossary provides us with a list of standard business terms that can enhance our understanding of the elements in our blueprint. The Information Server provides us with content related to physical data sources, ETL integration jobs, and other metadata regarding integration processes."

This step assumes that:

  • IBM InfoSphere Information Server Version 8.7 is installed and available to you in your environment. Contact your Information Server administrator for specific details.
  • The SCENARIO REFERENCE ASSETS (see Downloads) have been imported into your IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment. Contact your Information Server administrator for specific details.
  • That the user ID you are using to connect to the IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment has at least the following security roles:
    • Suite Level:
      • Common Metadata User
      • Suite User
    • Suite Component:
      • Business Glossary User
      • Metadata Workbench User

First, you want to configure Blueprint Director to connect to and use a Business Glossary.

  • Ensure you have your Blueprint Director workspace open.
  • Select the menu option: Blueprint > Preferences.
Figure 62. Select blueprint preferences
Image shows Preferences menu option under Blueprint menu
  • This will open a Preferences dialog box.
  • Click on Business Glossary item.
Figure 63. Select Business Glossary preference
Image shows display of Blueprint diagram preferences for global settings
  • You will be presented with a form for entering the connection information to your Business Glossary.
Figure 64. Business Glossary connection requirements
Image shows connection information for InfoSphere Business Glossary
  • Add the following information:
    • Host — From your Information Server administrator, determine the appropriate host name
    • Port — From your Information Server administrator, determine whether to use the default port 9080 or another port number.
    • Username — Enter your user ID for your Information Server environment.
    • Password — Enter your password for your Information Server environment.
  • Click Test Connection to confirm that your information is correct.
    • Click OK to leave the Test Connection.
  • Click OK to finish your connection setup.
  • If all connection information is correct and valid, you will be prompted whether you wish to download the glossary content.
Figure 65. Download glossary content
Image shows option to download Business Glossary content
  • Click Yes to download the content to your Glossary Explorer in Blueprint Director. It may take a minute or so to download the content.
  • You should now see information in your Glossary Explorer as in Figure 66.
    • If the Tutorial Assets have been correctly loaded into your environment, you should see the two following category entries, each containing additional terms:
      • Sample Finance Corp
      • Sample Insurance Corp
    • Depending on your environment, there may be additional Glossary categories representing your specific business entries.
Figure 66. Glossary Explorer
Image shows glossary of Sample Finance Corp category expanded

That completes the steps to make the Business Glossary available.

Next, you want to configure Blueprint Director to connect to and use an Information Server environment.

  • Ensure you have your Blueprint Director workspace open.
  • Select the menu option: Blueprint > Manage Server Connections.
Figure 67. Select Manage Server Connections
Image shows Manage Server Connections menu option under Blueprint menu
  • This will open a Manage Server Connections dialog.
    • This dialog will only contain connections if previously configured.
  • Click Add.
Figure 68. Add Server Connection
Add a new Server Connection
  • You will need to enter a Connection Name and choose a Connection Type.
Figure 69. Add Server Connection
Image shows entering a Server Connection name
  • As shown in Figure 70:
    • Enter InformationServer as the Connection Name.
    • Select InfoSphere Metadata Workbench as the Connection Type.
    • Click Next.
Figure 70. Enter Server Connection information
Image shows selecting Connection Type from drop-down options
  • You will be presented with a form for entering the connection information to your Information Server environment.
Figure 71. Information Server connection requirements
Image shows entering details for connecting to InfoSphere Metadata Workbench
  • Add the following information:
    • If your Information Server administrator indicates to use a Secure Connection, click that box.
    • Host — From your Information Server administrator, determine the appropriate host name.
    • Port — From your Information Server administrator, determine whether to use the default port 9080 or another port number.
    • Username— Enter your user ID for your Information Server environment.
    • Password — Enter your password for your Information Server environment.
    • Select your Metadata Workbench version — Your Information Server administrator can identify whether you are using Version 8.1.2, 8.5, or 8.7.
  • Click Validate connection.
    • If the connection is successful, you will see a statement at the top of this dialog that "Connection is Valid."
  • Click Finish to complete creating the connection, then click Close to close this dialog.
Figure 72. Manage Server Connections
Image shows display of added InformationServer connection
  • To browse the contents from your Information Server connection, go to the Asset Browser tab.
Figure 73. Asset Browser
Image shows selecting a connection from Asset Browser tab
  • From the Connection drop-down list, select your "Information Server" connection.
Figure 74. Select Asset Browser connection
Image shows display of added InformationServer connection in Asset Browser connection drop-down box
  • You will be prompted to select an Asset Type (e.g., database, file, or job) which represents the different types of objects stored in the Information Server.
  • Select Database as an Asset Type.
  • Enter JKLW in the Find field.
  • Select Display Assets.
  • If the Information Server resources for this tutorial have been added to your Information Server environment, you should see expandable content.
Figure 75. View Asset Browser content
Image shows display of tutorial database assets in Metadata Workbench through the Asset Browser

Step 7: View and connect the new Data Store to relevant glossary content and Information Server assets

"Now that you have connected Blueprint Director to our IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment, we want to enrich our blueprint with links to some of our standard business terms and Information Server assets."

This step assumes that:

  • IBM InfoSphere Information Server Version 8.7 is installed and available to you in your environment. Contact your Information Server administrator for details.
  • The SCENARIO REFERENCE ASSETS (see Downloads) have been imported into your IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment. Contact your Information Server administrator for details.
  • The connections for Business Glossary and Information Server have been completed as described in Step 6.

"Blueprint Director can add business context to your information flow using Business Glossary. We built a glossary that is now closely tied to our technical information assets. The glossary can help us better define what the Customer Data object in our BANK2 Operational Source sub-diagram means."

Connecting to the language of the business

Use formally defined and governed terms instead of ambiguous language to understand immediately trusted sources for key data elements and ownership (stewards). You can also drive design artifacts from the business terms added into your blueprint design.

  • Ensure that you have your Blueprint Director workspace and the Sample_Warehouse_01.bpt open.
  • To annotate the object with a term, open the Glossary Explorer tab on the right side of the screen.
  • Expand the Sample Finance Corp. category.
  • Click Banking Account.
    • Note that the Properties windows on the bottom right of the screen shows the definition of this term.
    Figure 76. Glossary Term Properties
    Image shows display of Banking Account Term in the Glossary Explorer and Properties view
  • This term can be useful to describe the information artifacts we are looking at. Click and drag the Banking Account term from the Glossary Explorer onto the canvas. You can drop the term on the open canvas; it does not have to be placed onto an existing element. If you do so, it will automatically create a Conceptual Entity element.
Figure 77. Add Glossary term to diagram
Image shows dragging Banking Account Term from the Glossary Explorer onto the blueprint canvas
  • Expand the Connections group from the palette on the left side of the screen.
  • Click the General Link element.
  • Click Banking Account and while holding down the left mouse button, drag the link over to the Customer Data entity.
  • Your BANK2 Operational Source sub-diagram should now look similar to Figure 76. You may need to move some objects around for clarity.
Figure 78. Connect entities with General Link
Image shows Banking Account element connected to the Customer Data concept element
  • Next, connect additional glossary terms directly to existing objects on the canvas:
    • Find Customer Number and Customer Type under the Sample Finance Corp. category and add them to the Customer Data entity. If you hold the CTRL key down, you can select multiple terms at the same time.
    • Find the following terms under the Banking Private Customer category under Sample Finance Corp. and add them to the Customer Data entity: Customer Name, Customer ID, Social Security Number, and Taxid.
    • Find the following terms under the Banking Private Customer category under Sample Finance Corp. and add them to the Customer Data Reference entity: Gender Type and Marital Status Type.
  • You will see green arrows to the upper left of the Customer Data and Customer Data Reference entities.
  • Click the green arrow next to Customer Data. You should see a list of terms similar to Figure 79.
  • If you click on Customer Number, your Glossary Explorer will be highlighted on this term and you can review the Term properties.
Figure 79. Add terms to existing elements
Image shows display of six terms on an element

"Blueprint Director can also add technical context to your information flow using Information Server assets. Connecting these assets to our blueprint landscape can help ensure that we have appropriately built out or used the right components in our project."

  • Ensure you have your Blueprint Director workspace and the Sample_Warehouse_01.bpt open.
  • To connect to and add Information Server assets, open the Asset Browser tab on the right side of the screen.
  • On the Connection field, use the drop-down list to find and select the name of your Information Server Metadata Workbench connection as you set up in Step 6 of the tutorial.
Figure 80. Connect to Information Server
Image shows display of InformationServer connection in the Asset Browser connection drop-down box
  • As you have already established your login information and credentials when you defined your Server Connection, when you select the connection, the system will log you on automatically.
  • If there is an issue with your login, you will see a message as in Figure 81.
  • To correct a login error, return to Step 6 to review and update your Server Connection. If you continue to experience login issues, contact your Information Server system administrator.
Figure 81. Error connecting to Information Server
Image shows error message while attempting to connect to InformationServer
  • Once the Information Server connection is made, you can select the Asset Type from the drop-down list as seen in Figure 82.
Figure 82. Select Asset Type from drop-down list
Image shows display of Asset Types in the Asset Browser
  • Select Database as the Asset Type.
  • Click Display Assets.
  • You will see the list of available databases stored in the Information Server. Your list may vary depending on the current contents of your Information Server environment.
  • Expand the asset JKLW_DB so you can see three schemas called JK_BANK1, JK_BANK2, and JK_LIFE as seen in Figure 83. You can expand these further to review the underlying tables and columns.
Figure 83. Database assets in the Information Server
Image shows display of the JKLW_DB database and its schemas in the Asset Browser
  • Click on the JK_BANK2 schema.
  • You can now view the properties for the JK_BANK2 schema in the Properties View as seen in Figure 84. The properties show any stewards or owners, associated terms, database tables, or views contained within the schema, etc.
Figure 84. Asset properties
Image shows display of properties for JK_BANK2 schema
  • Returning to your blueprint canvas, from the high-level diagram of the Sample_Warehouse_01.bpt blueprint, click on the plus sign (+) of the Structured Sources element to open the Structured Sources sub-diagram.
  • Your BANK2 Operational Source element is now visible.
  • You can drag multiple assets onto elements like Glossary Terms. However, this is not the case for all assets.
  • In the case where you cannot directly add an asset (such as a Schema), select the BANK2 Operational Source element and right-click for the menu options.
  • Select Add Asset Link.
Figure 85. Add Asset Link
Image shows to right-click on element to display the Add Asset Link option
  • Enter an Asset Link Name: BANK2_Schema
  • Select the Asset Link Type: InfoSphere Metadata Workbench
  • As seen in Figure 86, click Next
Figure 86. Name and select Asset Link type
Image shows Asset Link Type of InfoSphere Metadata Workbench selected for BANK2_Schema
  • Select the Asset Link connection — Use the InformationServer connection you established in Step 6 as seen in Figure 87.
  • Click Next.
Figure 87. Select Asset Link connection
Image shows select InformationServer connection option in the drop-down box
  • Similar to the Asset Browser view, you will now have the option to choose the Asset type you wish to link.
  • Select Asset Type: Database.
  • Click Display Assets.
  • Expand the JKLW_DB database asset so you can see the schema JK_BANK2.
  • Select the JK_BANK2 schema as seen in Figure 88.
  • Click Finish.
Figure 88. Select Asset
Image shows display of JK_BANK2 database schema in the list of Asset Types of database
  • The BANK2 Operational Source element in your diagram now shows a green arrow indicating an asset is connected.
  • Click on the green arrow to see the connected asset as seen in Figure 89.
Figure 89. View Connected Asset Link
Image shows clicking on the green arrow to show the linked Asset BANK2_Schema
  • If you click on the BANK2_Schema asset link, Blueprint Director will launch the IBM InfoSphere Metadata Workbench view directly within the workspace as seen in Figure 90 if your user ID has appropriate access authority.
Figure 90. View asset via Metadata Workbench window
Image shows display of JK_BANK2 schema properties through the Metadata Workbench view
  • This view can be used to get more detailed information on any of the associated assets (e.g., review details of the associated tables).
  • Save your work.

For added detail at the conceptual level, try:

  • Returning to your blueprint canvas. From the Structured Sources sub-diagram of the Sample_Warehouse_01.bpt blueprint, click on the plus sign (+) of the BANK2 Operational Source element to open the Structured Sources.BANK2 Operational Source sub-diagram.
  • Your conceptual detail of the Customer Data and Customer Reference Data is now visible as in Figure 78.
  • Drag the corresponding tables from the Asset Browser for the BANK2 schema onto the associated conceptual elements as in Figure 91:
    • BANK_BRANCH table to the BANK2_BRANCH element
    • BANK_CHECKING table to the BANK2_ CHECKING element
    • BANK_DEMOGRAHPICS table to the BANK2_ DEMOGRAHPICS element
    • BANK_INVESTMENTS table to the BANK2_ INVESTMENTS element
    • BANK_SAVINGS table to the BANK2_ SAVINGS element
Figure 91. Drag assets from Asset Browser
Image shows drag BANK_BRANCH table asset from Asset Browser onto BANK2_BRANCH element
  • When complete, your sub-diagram should look like Figure 92.
  • Save your work.
Figure 92. Linked assets in sub-diagram
Image shows clicking on green arrow on BANK2_BRANCH element to show linked asset BANK_BRANCH

"You have now connected your blueprint to our IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment, including standard business terms and Information Server assets. This information enhances communication among the broader team that reviews and utilizes the blueprint. And by aligning business and IT from the inception of the project, you help to define and agree with the leadership team on the end-to-end project vision — without being limited to just the technical view.

Using the combination of palette-based elements and available assets allows your team to drive a project in multiple ways as highlighted in Figure 93:

  • Bottom-up— Start with where you are and define changes (e.g., consolidate existing systems).
  • Meet-in-middle— Start with a pre-defined reference architecture and connect with existing assets and terms.
  • Top-down— Start with your business vision, establish your concepts, and drill into greater technical detail as you work down.
Figure 93. Multiple approaches to drive project vision
Image shows work on a Blueprint using Top Down, Bottom Up, or Meet in the Middle approaches

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you have:

  • Explored the Blueprint Director workspace, reviewing components such as the palette; the diagram canvas; the Method, Asset, and Glossary browsers; the Blueprint Navigator and Milestone tabs; and the Properties view.
  • Created a new blueprint from the Business-driven BI Development template.
  • Modified an existing blueprint with new elements and sub-diagrams to manage the end-to-end project vision for updating a sample data warehouse project.
  • Connected your new blueprint elements to relevant methods.
  • Created project milestones, associated the new elements with specific milestones, and reviewed the blueprint at key milestone points.
  • Set up connections to your IBM Information Server environment and then linked the blueprint to business and technical artifacts (glossary terms; database schemas and tables) in your Information Server environment.

IBM InfoSphere Blueprint Director helps you to govern your integration projects by extending the vision of the projects to all members of your team, fostering collaboration, and best practices. As a subsequent step, you may find it useful to familiarize yourself with the available templates and their associated methods. This will allow you to identify templates that may be right for your project.

As you work with your own blueprints, remember:

  • A template is just a template. You need to tailor it to your needs.
  • Anything can be added, changed, or deleted. Use it as your whiteboard.
  • Keep high-level focal points simple. Use sub-diagrams to encapsulate and drill into more detail.
  • Focus on the end goal of the project. The blueprint is not the project plan, but the visualization of where you want to get to.
  • Communicate and gain consensus. Use the diagram to aid communication across teams and ensure everyone has the same vision.
  • Connect your blueprint to relevant assets. Keep the vision up to date so it remains an active document in your projects and environment.

Appendix A: Setting up your Information Server content

In order to perform Steps 6 and 7 of this tutorial, the SCENARIO REFERENCE ASSETS must be imported into your IBM InfoSphere Information Server environment.

The import process requires a user with the Information Server Suite Administrator role who can use the istool command-line function.

The istool command-line function is available on the client and engine tiers. It is located in the <installation_directory>\Clients\istools\cli, where <installation_directory> is the directory where you installed IBM InfoSphere Information Server (for example, on a Windows machine, it could be: c:\IBM\informationserver ).

Further details on the istool command-line functions can be found in the IBM Information Center at http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/iisinfsv/v8r7/topic/com.ibm.swg.im.iis.iisinfsv.assetint.nav.doc/containers/istool_container_topic.html

Scenario Reference Assets

There are two files that must be imported to support this tutorial. These are contained in the downloadable ZIP file that accompanies this tutorial: Tutorial-01-ReferenceAssets.zip. The files are:

  • business-glossary-xml-export.xml
  • CM_ISserver.isx

Business Glossary examples

The business-glossary-xml-export.xml file contains the IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary terms for use in this and related scenario-based tutorials. Partial content of this file is visible in Figure 64. There are two high-level Categories: Sample Finance Corp. and Sample Insurance Corp. The sample terms included in this file fall under those categories.

Common Metadata examples

The CM_ISserver.isx file contains the IBM InfoSphere Information Server common metadata assets for use in this and related scenario-based tutorials. Partial content of this file is visible in Figure 73.

Metadata content includes the following:

  • Implemented Data Resources
    • IS-SERVER.IBM.COM
    • JKLW_BI_SERVER

These incorporate the sample databases, schemas, tables, and columns used in the tutorials.

Import the Business Glossary examples

To import the business-glossary-xml-export.xml file, the following steps are needed (examples shown are based on Microsoft Windows operating system):

  1. Navigate to the location of the istool command: <installation_directory>\Clients\istools\cli where <installation_directory> is typically c:\IBM\InformationServer.
  2. Run the command to import the Business Glossary file:
	istool.bat glossary import -domain <yourserver>:<yourport>
-username\ 
<youruserid> -password <yourpassword>\
-filename "c:\temp\business-glossary-xml-export.xml" -format XML -mergemethod ignore

Where you need to configure the following:

  • <yourserver> = the name of the Information Server that you connect to
  • <yourport> =, usually 9080
  • <youruserid> = a user ID with Suite Administration privileges to load the import file
  • <yourpassword> = the password associated with the user ID
  • c:\temp\= the location where the Business Glossary file is saved
  1. The process should complete. There should be 10 categories created and 119 terms created.
Figure 94. Importing Business Glossary examples
Image shows detailed command line to import Business Glossary XML file
Figure 95. Requires a heading
Image shows Import completed successfully message for Business Glossary

For additional details on importing Business Glossary files into the IBM InfoSphere Information Server, refer to the section on "Managing assets by using the command line: InfoSphere Business Glossary assets in the IBM Information Center.

Import the Common Metadata examples

To import the CM_ISserver.isx file, the following steps are needed (examples shown are based on Microsoft Windows operating system):

  1. Navigate to the location of the istool command: <installation_directory>\Clients\istools\cli, where <installation_directory> is typically c:\IBM\InformationServer.
  2. Run the command to import the common metadata file:
	istool.bat import -domain <yourserver>:<yourport> \
-username <youruserid> -password <yourpassword> \
-archive "C:\temp\CM_ISserver.isx" –cm ''

Where you need to configure the following:

  • <yourserver> = the name of the Information Server that you connect to
  • <yourport> = , usually 9080
  • <youruserid> = a user ID with Suite Administration privileges to load the import file
  • <yourpassword> = the password associated with the user ID
  • c:\temp\= the location where the common metadata file is saved

NOTE:

  • The –cm option must be followed by '' with no intervening spaces.
  • The - in the –cm option must be the correct hyphen code for the operating system. If you receive a message indicating ?cm is not a recognized option, retype the –cm in the operating system command window.
  • If some objects are not successfully imported, retry the command adding the –replace or –r option to the end of the command string.
  1. The process should complete. There should be 35 assets imported.
Figure 96. Importing common metadata examples
Image shows detailed command line to import common metadata ISX file
Figure 97. Requires a heading
Image shows imported 35 assets for common metadata

For additional details on importing common metadata files into the IBM InfoSphere Information Server, refer to the section "Managing assets by using the command line: Common metadata assets" in the IBM Information Center.


Downloads

DescriptionNameSize
Sample Warehouse codeSample_Warehouse_01.zip101KB
Glossary and referencesTutorial-01-ReferenceAssets.zip131KB

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Zone=Information Management
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ArticleTitle=Designing an integration landscape with IBM InfoSphere Foundation Tools and Information Server, Part 1: Planning an integration landscape
publish-date=02022012