Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Business Reporting Solutions

Writing this blog to put my thoughts on how reporting can be enhanced by providing by higher quality data solutions in data centers.

Today’s competitive environment is fast and fierce, marked by complex supply networks and increased consumer power. In order to succeed, companies need to fully leverage the power of information to their advantage. No longer is it enough to leave information access to a select few; every business person needs to be empowered to access, analyze and act on trusted information, wherever and whenever needed, and in the context of the relevant business activities.

To meet these information requirements we have a lot of BI tools. But the large quantity of information to be processed can bring even most advanced analytical tools to its knees. To ensure the required data is available in time we need to get our data models right and also the load calculations right. Detailed information analysis based on nature of business and its scale of operations.

Feasibility studies got to take a look at the current infrastructure and look for performance gaps. Once the right infrastructure is in place, we need to balance the business and non-business requirements while designing data models. Nature of data writes and data queries should be analyzed to arrive at the optimum data model. Knowing the business processes/activities, for which the data model will be used for, will save valuable time later. Cool UML tools come in handy for modeling both. Some good UML tools which can help are:

* Model2Code's MagicDraw

Where will this model sit, can be decided based on cost /benefit analysis of different vendor RDBMS products along with the customer’s CIO/manager. This is done against customer requirements and taking all constraints into perspective. Different types of Vendors surveys are freely available at sites like these.


Choosing a middleware like hibernate to enhance performance is the next step. Hibernate optimizes queries used to retrieve the relevant information. Besides, it supports a wide range of RDBMS up to enterprise level. So, without any code change only the database configuration needs to be changed in a xml file. Thus, reducing cost of maintenance.

If you feel managing infrastructure is becoming a white elephant go in for cloud computing. Cloud computing manages the infrastructure used to stores your precious data. It's cost effective since the service provider bears the maintenance cost.

With ease of access to information brings with it new security challenges. Conventional security paradigms are no longer adequate to provide multiple system access. Management of every individual user's identity across system then becomes crucial to protect your data. Single Sign On solutions implemented using identity management is the trend here to stay. In fact, security apsects should be carefully monitored everytime a new software module is integrated into the main system.

Do let me know your feedback on this blog.

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