Silwood Technology is unique in having recognised, and acted on, the need for a better understanding of enterprise applications, notably the dominant ERP and CRM solutions provided by SAP and Oracle. Having this depth of understanding is critical for many enterprise projects, ranging from business intelligence to data governance, from data integration to master data management, and from data migration to application development, Moreover, the company's discovery capabilities are not stand-alone but act as complementary technology to the established tools and products that are typically used to provide such solutions. Working in combination in this way should enable faster and easier implementations and will help organisations to gain more return on their investment in their enterprise applications. In our opinion, every major user of an Oracle or SAP application should be a Safyr customer.
As far as Silwood Technology is concerned it has more of an IT focus than one defined by industry sector. That is to say, it will be most useful in master data management implementations, data migration, enterprise architecture and in data warehousing and business intelligence installations that derive all or part of their information from SAP or Oracle environments. It can also usefully be used to support ETL (extract, transform and load) and similar processes and to support test data management and archival.
Silwood Technology has over 400 users of Safyr including Proctor & Gamble, BP, Boeing, RS-Components, Adidas, Microsoft, Teradata, Johnson & Johnson, Federal Reserve, Homeland Security, Raytheon, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Pacific Gas & Electric to name just a few.
Safyr is somewhat different from other discovery tools. Whereas other vendors have focused on horizontal database focused discovery Safyr is vertically focused on specific ERP and CRM applications, notably SAP R/3 and BW, Oracle eBusiness Suit and PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel (all Oracle).
The basic problem that Safyr is addressing is that a typical ERP installation might have 90,000 tables in the database. Moreover, the customisation done by each customer can add to this complexity: it is common for users to add thousands of additional tables to the environment and we know of accounts where this customisation is measured in tens of thousands. This huge proliferation of tables makes understanding the environment very difficult. Further, SAP enforces database constraints (primary and foreign keys and so forth) not within the database itself, but within its application server. This means that traditional modelling tools cannot capture all the relevant metadata about the system, because they work only at the database level.
Safyr extracts all relevant metadata (including any customisation) about these source systems. This information includes not just information about tables but also information about referential integrity that may be defined logically (in the application server) rather than physically (in the database). Extracted metadata is stored in Safyr's own repository so that it can be investigated without impacting on the source systems. Repository management is provided to support extracted metadata from multiple applications or multiple versions (test, development and production) of a single application. You can search, sort and filter against metadata to create domain-specific subject areas either starting on a table basis or from an application perspective. A major feature of the latest release (version 6.0) is that you can filter out all tables that have no values in them. Subject areas can be visualised directly within Safyr but can also be exported to leading data modelling tools for use when building a variety of solutions.
Silwood Technology is a relatively small company and can therefore offer relatively limited service support. However, the product is very easy to install, implement and use and very little support is likely to be required. In addition, many of its sales are provided through the company's channel partners, who provide first-line support. This is also true of systems integrators such as Accenture, which is another Silwood partner.