Powerd911 – Numéro #1 au Canada

Hands-On Perspective – Business Glossary Feature within Sybase PowerDesigner

– Formaliser les besoins et construire un référentiel d’exigences
– Dossiers d’analyse d’impacts
– Dossiers de conception fonctionnelle (diagrammes, modélisations, schéma fonctionnel cible, etc.)
– Dossiers de spécifications fonctionnelles
– Participer à l’estimation des charges des travaux fonctionnels
– Veiller au respect des normes d’urbanisation, d’architecture et de sécurité

I had the opportunity to work with the Business Glossary feature of Sybase PowerDesigner. One of the organizations I work with already had licenses for Sybase PowerDesigner, so the Business Glossary feature came for “free.”

Here are the plus points associated with the Business Glossary feature of Sybase PowerDesigner:

  • “Free” licenses – Organizations get an entry-level business glossary for free along with their licenses of Sybase PowerDesigner.
  • Technical Metadata – Administrators can link business terms to the associated metadata from the data models within Sybase PowerDesigner.
  • Quick Start – Data Governance teams can get up and running quickly with a nice user interface.
  • Publishing – This is a very cool feature that allows the administrator to press a button and publish the glossary in HTML or PDF format. This document can be posted on SharePoint or some other portal. Data Governance teams can show quick results in a tangible format.
  • Policies and Rules – The tool lets you create policies and rules, and then link those artifacts to the associated business terms. For example, create a term called “minors” and link to a rule that “minors must have guardians.”

On the other hand, I found some areas where the tool needed additional work:

  • Stewardship – Ideally, a business glossary should allow administrators to assign terms and categories to data stewards. The tool has limited ability to support data stewards without paying for additional, expensive user licenses.
  • Workflow – The tool does not support simple or complex workflows to allow multiple parties to participate in the creation of a term.
  • Automatic creation of a code – I found this feature clunky. Sybase automatically creates a code for each business term. This code has to be one word. For example, the term “large customer” would be associated with a code called “large_customer.”
  • Multiple definitions for the same term – Sybase PowerDesigner does not allow multiple definitions for the same business term even if they are in different categories. As a result, the tool would not allow me to create terms for “customer” in the Marketing and Finance categories even if they have different meanings. I found myself having to create workarounds like calling the second term “customer1.”
  • Non-Sybase technical metadata – The Business Glossary does not let you work with technical metadata unless it has been modeled in Sybase. We had to establish workarounds like creating model stubs for a few tables in external applications and importing them into Sybase.
  • Linkage to reference data – There really is no way to link a term to the associated reference data. For example, I would have liked to link a term called “gender” with the list of allowable values including “male,” “female” and “unknown.”
  • Linkage to reports and applications – Other tools offer a desktop widget that links the business glossary to the report or application. For example, you can highlight a term in Cognos and then Shift+F5 to pull up the definition from the glossary. This is a great selling feature with business users.

Clearly, Microsoft Excel is the business glossary of choice for many enterprises. At the next level, a tool like the Business Glossary feature of Sybase PowerDesigner offers decent functionality to users who already have licenses. However, the tool is more targeted at data architects rather than business users. Finally, there are other tools like IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary and Collibra Data Governance Center that offer much more robust functionality for business users.

1 comment

  1. Benoit Le Nabec

    About “Multiple definitions for the same term”

    What you can do is add extended attributes.

    You can have multiple definitions for the same business term

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