Managing the data lifecycle
I'm looking forward to next Wednesday, July 22nd when I get to participate in one of the virtual technical briefings that Kathy Z blogged about recently. The topic is InfoSphere Data Architect 101, and I'm planning to do something with one of the technical architects that is a combination of presentation and demonstration, so hopefully we'll keep it interesting for you.
If you want to get a little background before coming, you can check out this great introductory video. Also, Holly covered some of the new privacy capabilities in the first virtual tech briefing, Data Studio becomes Optim: What does it mean for you, which will be available for replay for a limited time.
Just sign in with your computer and email address!
Date: July 22nd
Time: 10 AM Pacific, 1 PM Eastern (but sign in 30 minutes early if you can)
The whole thing is done via the computer, so you may want to go to the web site ahead of time and click on the system check link.
Talk with you soon.
-- Anson Kokkat
updated 6/16/ to fix minor typo.
Following up on Curt's blog about the new releases in June, let's take a deeper look at what is new in InfoSphere Data Architect V7.5.2.
Building on top of the privacy specifications for generating test data that was already built in the product from December 2008 you will now be able to pick from a predefined list of categories for specific data privacy information. It's probably best to explain this with an example. Let's say you have a credit card column that you want to mark as private by generating a random number where you maintain the first 4 digits of the card. Within InfoSphere Data Architect you can specify that you want to use the credit card masking policy, and IDA will be able to connect to Optim Test Data Management and Data Privacy solutions to get the appropriate masking method that should be used. Not only can you generate this in the design phase of your model you can now share this with Optim Development Studio so now when developing applications you have the ability to view what data is private and even look at the SQL that accesses the sensitive data.
Also new in IDA 7.5.2 is the capability to size storage requirements and estimate for data capacity and growth. This is often called volumetrics support and as per customer requests we have implemented this in the new release.
Finally, building on the fact that InfoSphere Data Architect is more than just a data modeling tool, we have leveraged all the different use cases that customers have implemented to improve on the different integration scenarios that we provide with IDA. We already know that Data Architect is built on top of the Rational Software Delivery platform (reminder, this product used to be called Rational Data Architect) and we continue to improve in those areas, but we have also enhanced integration scenarios related to Information Management as well. Since most of the Optim Solutions for Integrated Data Management are built on Eclipse you can utilize the sharing of connection information feature that was introduced in the June releases. Also new in IDA 7.5.2 is improved integration with IBM Industry Models and glossary information. All Industry Models and the newly added glossary information can now be managed in InfoSphere Data Architect.
The trial of this release will be available in a few weeks at the current trial download location. The announcement letter is here. Oh, by the way, the announcement letter also contains information about the updated Learning Services course for IDA that has been enhanced to cover more product capabilities. I always strongly recommend that new users get education, and this new and improved course can help you get what you need to get started.
-- Anson Kokkat
After 5 years of use on my existing cell phone I decided to upgrade to one of the more feature-rich models that was available on the market. Once I purchased my phone, I really didn't know where to get started. I had all this data from my old cell phone that I wanted to transfer to my new one and start using right away. I was happy to find a seamless way to migrate the data over and even more surprised at how simple and quick it was. Now that the data was migrated over, I learned about new features that really helped to make my life more productive and started wondering how I did things before.
The new ERwin to InfoSphere Data Architect (IDA) migration guide gives customers a cookbook approach to transferring assets from ERwin to IDA and start being productive right away. ERwin has been around for about 20 years so it's difficult to suddenly pick up a new tool and expect things to be the same. This guide helps by mapping terminology and concepts between the products and by offering best practices guidelines, including:
-- Anson Kokkat
P.S. IDA doesn't come with GPS or a 5 MP camera, but it does come with tools that would turn a data architect's head.[Read More]
Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Hope your day was lucky and your weekend is good.
Today I want to dig down a little bit on how data modeling can help DBAs be better at their jobs and become more valuable to the organization. You have probably heard about the key benefits of the IBM Integrated Data Management portfolio, including improving productivity, saving time, reducing costs, and improving collaboration among roles. I’d like to propose that as much as any data development or performance monitoring tool, using InfoSphere Data Architect for data design and discovery can provide tangible (and not so tangible) benefits to DBAs and the organization both in the short term (rapid response to changes) and long term (improved skills, better quality data models, etc.).
Let’s look at skills and productivity in a heterogeneous environment first. Data Architect is a heterogeneous tool. If your shop is like many I see, you have to deal with multiple databases, such as Oracle and DB2 for z/OS. Or DB2 and SQL Server. Or Informix Dynamic Server and DB2 and MySQL. Whatever combination you may have, what you really want is a single tool that works with all these different data servers.
Having a single tool that generates the DDL from several different database vendors means you don't need to be an expert in all of them. It allows the DBAs to become more skilled across more products and thus allows DBAs to do more with less, and as their skills grow they become more productive and valuable to the enterprise.
Even if you don't have multiple database systems to deal with, InfoSphere Data Architect can help DBAs be more responsive to ‘agile’ development scenarios (or any scenario in which requirements come in late – all of them?). Designing databases from scratch is always difficult, but having a data modeling tool to can really ease the pain. So, if a developer says "I just remembered, we forgot to take the modules from Sally's group into account," it’s pretty easy to manage that kind of change with InfoSphere Data Architect. My recommendation is to manage all design changes through the logical data model, and then transform as appropriate to the physical model required for the target database, which, by the way, might very well be different vendors between development, test and production. You don’t have to follow this approach, but it is a best practice.
Another scenario: Let's say that your company has recently acquired a company and it’s your job to integrate their database into the main corporate database. And by the way, they have no or little documentation on what is in their databases. No problem. Use the Data Source Explorer in InfoSphere Data Architect to reverse engineer the existing database to get a nice diagram of the physical data model to see what they have already. Then you can compare what they have with what you have (for example, do we really need another customer table? Or can we just migrate their data to ours by maybe adding or modifying a column?). If you need to make changes to accommodate their data model, you can generate the necessary DDL to do so and can even deploy directly from the tool if you like.
Speaking of inheriting database, another DBA might pass you a database model that has cryptic table names or cryptic schema names. Just looking at the table name you can’t tell what it means and it doesn’t match anything else you have seen before. InfoSphere Data Architect can help you "decipher" the cryptic database model against a glossary that defines your enterprise standards. The glossary is a way for you to enforce naming conventions or decipher a table you created in the past. If there are any discrepancies or a newly created table doesn’t match the glossary, the tool will help report these back to you so you can fix them.
The nice thing about Data Architect that is different from other modeling tools is that it does include some cool capabilities in the Data Source Explorer such as being able to sample live data. And because it integrates seamlessly with products like Rational Software Architect for WebSphere Software, it’s that much easier to collaborate with the application architects and exchange models with them.
Anyway, this is a lot of words, I know. I recommend that you check out this great new 'how to' demo on developerWorks that goes through some basic scenarios so you can see the tool in action. If you want more details on the capabilities, go to the web site, post a question using the comment link below, or send me a mail at ansonk at ca.ibm.com.
-- Anson Kokkat
IBM_Optim 27000269HS Tags:  infosphere design glossary model metadata rda kokkat ida 5,552 Views
In my last blog I talked about the tools associated with InfoSphere Foundation Tools, including my product, InfoSphere Data Architect. However I wanted to really show you that most of what I was talking about has substance, and that there is true integration among the tools – it’s not just marketing!
In Denis Vasconcelos's latest article, Understanding leads to Trust: Sharing a Common Vocabulary across InfoSphere Foundation tools, he has really hit home the message about how a common understanding of business terms can help improve communication and enforce standards across IT and business organizations. His article shows you how to import your existing business concepts into a business glossary (InfoSphere Business Glossary with InfoSphere Metadata Workbench) and then use that glossary within InfoSphere Data Architect to do such things as enforce naming standards in data models, which of course will mean that applications built on the resulting database will also be using correct terms that are meaningful to the business.
I like how the article shows how all of these products are interconnected, and how the various technologies have been designed to make sure that you are doing the most with your metadata.
Read the article and let me know your thoughts... I am especially interested to know if this set of tools meets your objective of managing metadata effectively. If there is something missing, let me know. I really think we have a unique offering with these set of tools, and something that really stands out from the rest of the crowd.
Same product, same features, same organization, different name
I often say the above phrase when I have to explain to everyone what the difference is between 'RDA' and 'IDA'. We announced the renaming of IBM Rational® Data Architect to IBM InfoSphere™ Data Architect today, December 16, 2008. See the announcement letter. It really is the same product, still part of the Data Studio family, and even built on top of the same Eclipse level.
So why the name change now?
The name change features the InfoSphere Data Architect role in IBM InfoSphere Foundation Tools, an open set of tools that help prepare an organization to adopt an information agenda. Read more about the Foundation Tools in this executive brief.
There has always been integration between our data architect product and the InfoSphere Family and its predecessors. The very first release featured function to assist in data integration design, but at that time the DB2 Information Integrator branding was too limiting for our offering. Given the broad database support, we opted to give it a Rational brand featuring its integration with the Rational Software Development Platform. InfoSphere Data Architect still is and will continue to be fully integrated with the Rational portfolio, and in particular with the architectural components including Rational Software Architect, WebSphere Business Modeler and other Rational products.
What exactly is InfoSphere?
I was talking with one of the InfoSphere reps to about how he explains InfoSphere to clients when I was at the IOD conference in Las Vegas this year. He started to explain to me about moving. When I say "moving" I mean like you've bought a new house and need to physically move your items from one location to another. So let's describe the process of what you do when you move.
Same product, same features, same organization, different name
-- Anson Kokkat
As I mentioned in my previous blog on the RDA 7.5 announcement, I promised to let you know when the trial code is ready. Well, it's ready now. You can download the 30-day trial off developerWorks.
For the highlights of the new release, check out the What's New documentation and check out my earlier blog on this topic that focuses on the data privacy and integration aspects of the new release, or even better, listen to my webcast.
I can show you all the new features in person. Come meet me at the IOD 2008 conference. I'll be busy at the conference - you can find me at either of the following sessions:
Get your hands dirty and join me for the following hands on labs:
Mandalay Bay South Convention Center - Breakers A Tue, 28/Oct, 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Mandalay Bay South Convention Center - Breakers C Wed, 29/Oct, 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM (This one looks full but come by anyway since sometimes people don't show up)
And you don't have to take my word about it. Don't miss this customer session:
-- Anson Kokkat
IBM_Optim 27000269HS Tags:  rational_data_architect rda kokkat data_privacy data_model optim 4,765 Views
Have you heard the news? The new release of IBM's premiere data modeling tool, Rational Data Architect (RDA) 7.5 has been announced and will be available for download on September 26. The key themes for Rational Data Architect, now and in the future, include integration and to provide the foundational modeling capability you need to support your information initiatives, including data privacy support.
This release includes our first step in integrating with Optim Data Privacy solutions and of course, the integration with the other architecture management products in the Rational 7.5 portfolio. Because we're committed to supporting a heterogeneous database environment, we've also extended our support for both Oracle and SQL server databases.
Rational Data Architect 7.5 integration with Optim data privacy and test data management solutions
You have probably heard a lot of stories in the news of large companies that have been compromised because confidential information of its clients has been stolen. A lot of theft happens within the company and so it becomes difficult to manage. Optim gives you tools to enforce a data governance strategy.
What we have done in Rational Data Architect is now allow you to specify data privacy attributes (policies, data masking rules) and export the data privacy and test data definition artifacts for easy import to an Optim directory that can be used for creating the physical test databases. We have extended the domain model in RDA so that you can specify data privacy classifications and masking rules right in the domain model and then apply it to the various columns in your data model. This will then create a file that Optim can consume and read. Not only do you have a privacy specification that can be reused across your test databases, it saves a lot of manual effort. And you can also generate a compliance report that will come in handy for audits!
If you want to try this integration yourself, go to the IOD web site and sign yourself up for the following hands on lab that I and my colleague in Optim, Rick Buglio, will teach:
Rick and I are also working on a developerWorks tutorial that we hope to have available in the October timeframe.
This gives you a lot of benefits in terms of functionality. RDA still maintains its close integration with RSA so that you can do things like transform a data model to an application model, etc. We have enhanced some further transformations especially in the XML space. Also there is a RDAM (Rational Data Architect + Rational Software Modeler) bundle based on 7.5 that gives you a great deal on these two products together.
Enhanced support for non-IBM databases
Where is the trial?
I look forward to seeing you at IOD. For those of you doing data architecture, be sure to join me and other Rational developers at a Birds of a Feather session on Wednesday, October 29th at 6.00 pm in the Mandalay Bay North Convention Center - Tropics B. The number is BOF-3280. If you can’t join us, please use the comments link below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to send feedback on our product or if you are interested in more discussion on particular areas of data architecture.
--Anson Kokkat[Read More]
Hello all. I'm the product manager for Rational Data Architect (RDA), IBM's strategic data modelling tool. I visit lots of customers and talk to my own colleagues about this product, and I would like to take this opportunity to clear up a few things that I keep hearing over and over. Here are three things you may not know about RDA:
Number 1: Rational Data Architect is part of the IBM Data Studio family (don't let the name fool you)
As my teammate Holly Hayes describes in her Data Studio "big picture" article, RDA is the data design component of the integrated data management lifecycle. Rational Data Architect is built on top of the Rational Software Development platform and is designed to integrate well with Rational Software Architect and other Rational Software products. As a matter of fact, other components of Data Studio also are built on this platform and can extend the Rational application development environment with complementary data-centric capabilities. So, if you're a DBA or data architect, yes, you should be interested in something named Rational (especially since it's very likely that RDA can work with most if not all of your existing databases, IBM or non-IBM).
Number 2: Support for Cognos and Telelogic is already in the product.
Number 3: Rational Data Architect is NOT just for architects.
Rational Data Architect has really gained popularity over the last couple of years since it was released. With the next release, which is planned to be available later this year, you will see more ground being made by building on top of the Eclipse 3.4 foundation and more enhancements put in place to make RDA the premier tool for database modeling.
-- Anson Kokkat