The metadata guts

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-05-13 Print this article Print

People tend to think federated means ignoring the metadata problem. Thats absolutely not the case. I have to invest in the metadata infrastructure for both data warehouses and federation. To what depth does the metadata go?
Our goal is to be able to handle the operational metadata: e.g. which systems … [and] development metadata: e.g. what is the data model Im dealing with? What relations …and business metadata: e.g. what kind of summaries Im seeing, what kinds of aggregations, [etc. for the business user]. Business managers dont need to know the plumbing or that its coming from Oracle or a Siebel system. They want to see what is their profitability
Business managers dont need to know the plumbing or that its coming from Oracle or a Siebel system. They want to see what is their profitability. When a new application comes online, how does that new metadata get reconciled with the existing metadata? Is it automatic, or are we talking about an army of people dedicated to metadata? As you probably know and analysts know, there have been a lot of efforts in the early 90s around metadata management. These have not been successful because the metadata repository was independent of the tools. It was kind of a tool by itself, not fully integrated with the information management system. Every time I changed the information management system, say a database, somebody had to update in the metadata repository that the table had been modified. Thats not the approach we have. Our metadata repository is fully integrated with the information integration platform. [It has] all the tooling that consumers of metadata need to use that. Because its integrated with the information management infrastructure, I can discover metadata automatically. I can monitor when changes happen or a new application gets added. If its a change, I can do analysis and tell the consumer of metadata what needs to be modified. Click here to read Ascential customers take on IBMs data integration plans. You dont need hundreds of human beings sitting there extracting information from the system. All that happens, basically, automatically. Next Page: Who else is spending such huge wads of cash on this stuff?

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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