Monday, July 15, 2013

Minimum on the wire, everything in the record

I've talked before about why large canonical models are a bad idea and how MDM makes SOA, BPM and a whole lot of things easier.  This philosophy of 'minimum on the wire' helps to create more robust infrastructures that don't suffer from a fragile base class problem and better match the local variations that organisations always see.

One of the things I really like about IT however is how it starts putting new challenges and how simple approaches really make it easier to address those new challenges.  One of those is the whole Big Data challenge which I've been looking at quite a bit in the last 12 months and there is a new philosophy coming out of that which is 'store everything', not 'store everything in a big data warehouse' but 'store everything as raw data in Hadoop'.    There are really three sources of 'everything'
  1. Internal Transactional systems
  2. External Information & transactional systems
  3. Message passing systems
So we now have a really interesting situation where you can minimise what is on the wire but store much more information.  By dropping the full MDM history and cross reference into Hadoop you can use that to say exactly what the information state was at a point in time when a message was passed across the bus.  In other words you can have a full-audit trace of both the request and the impact that the request had on the system.

One of the big advantages of Hadoop is that it doesn't require you to have that big canonical model and again this is where MDM really kicks in with an advantage.  If you are looking for all transactions from a given customer you just take the system x-ref from MDM as your input and then you can do a federated Map Reduce routine to get the system specific information without having to go through a massive data mapping exercise.

Hadoop means there is even less reason to have lots flying about on the wire and even more justification for MDM being at the heart of a decent information approach.

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