Virtual data sources that shield end users from complexity

Virtual data sources in QMF for Workstation and WebSphere® allow administrators to optionally shield their users from the complexities of the underlying database structures, providing content designers with a simplified data model against which content can be created.

Virtual data sources work by introducing a metadata layer that mediates between an administrator-defined, virtual data source and the underlying data sources that contain the physical tables and views. This streamlines the design process by replacing obscure column names with easy-to-understand alternatives and representing complex table joins as a single virtual table.

Administrators can define multiple virtual tables in a single virtual database, each of which draws data from one or more tables within differing data sources. To users, a virtual data source acts as a single database, allowing users to write queries against all tables contained within it, despite the fact that their underlying data resides in different data sources. Virtual data sources also insulate users from database schema changes, allowing database administrators to make changes to the underlying database schemas without affecting existing dashboards, queries, or reports.