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Kalido has just announced the general availability of its Business Information Modeler product. This is interesting for a couple of reasons: first, because of the way product works and, secondly, because of its relationship to the company’s Dynamic Information Warehouse and Universal Information Director products. I will deal with the latter first.
In case you are not familiar with Kalido’s Dynamic Information Warehouse, what it does is to ensure that the warehouse easily and rapidly accommodates changes to the business. Moreover, it maintains a history of those changes so that you can ask questions like what would have been the result of any particular query under a previous organisational structure. This is cool and, frankly, I think everyone should have one. Or, at least, for those platforms that Kalido runs on.
Actually, there is a corollary: because the business model is separated from the warehouse it also makes the initial definition and implementation of the warehouse much quicker, but that’s another story.
Anyway, what Business Information Modeler allows you to do is to model your business information in a graphical fashion and then Universal Information Director takes the business model metadata and then generates relevant business intelligence information such as Business Objects (SAP) Universes for you. Currently this is only available for Business Objects and Cognos but Kalido plans to roll out support for other business intelligence products in due course.
Now, I need to talk about the graphical nature of Business Information Modeler, because this is not your common or garden drag-and-drop-off-a-palette product. Actually, it is more like inserting a text box into a word document. Just draw a box in the Modeler and label it (using business terms rather than technical ones). What’s neat about is that if you want to define another business entity that contains the first, say, then you just draw a larger a box around the first one, label it (that is, name it: which means typing in what it is called) and the software will automatically recognise that your first box is a subset of the second. If you want to define any other sort of relationship between entities (or sub-entities) just draw a line between them to connect them. Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that: you have to define the attributes upon which the relationships are based but it is remarkably easy to use. You can export diagrams for documentation purposes and you can generate pdfs for the same reason, if required.
Once created you can check the business model for errors (for example, that appropriate metrics have not been defined) and, once it has been validated, deploy it against the data warehouse via Dynamic Information Warehouse. As with the Dynamic Information Warehouse, there are facilities to automatically manage such things as changed hierarchies.
So, I said before that everyone should have Kalido Dynamic Information Warehouse and they should certainly have Universal Information Director and Business Information Modeler too. The only shame is the relatively limited number of platforms that Kalido’s software runs on: one would like to see it on Netezza for example, or Teradata.