REVIEWER: Inna Kogan, principal enterprise data architect at Iron Mountain.
BACKGROUND: Iron Mountain Incorporated helps organizations around the world reduce the costs and risks associated with information management, protection and storage. The company offers comprehensive records management, data protection and information destruction solutions along with the expertise and experience to address complex information challenges such as storage costs, regulatory compliance and disaster recovery. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain is a trusted partner to more than 120,000 corporate clients in 39 countries on five continents.
PLATFORMS: CA Model Manager Repository resides on Oracle 11g, CA ERwin Data Modeling component runs on laptops and workstations running Windows XP; CA ERwin Data Modeler Version 220.127.116.112.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Like most companies, Iron Mountains information practices are complex - the result of merger and acquisition activities and a high diversity of transactional and enterprise systems used around the globe. The CA ERwin Data Modeler played a very important role in getting the pieces of the data puzzle together. In less than one year, the team was able to create an inventory of the majority of Iron Mountains data assets and started to work on the enterprise data model. The product enables: the inventory of data available in the companys databases, enterprise representation of business terminology and rules, flexible and strong security. Data models stored in the centralized repository are protected through backup processes for the Oracle database, versioning control and history, enterprise model components that can be leveraged in local models, shared glossary and abbreviations (definitions and logical names), and effective communicators between IT and business via data models. Having the right tool helped us to incorporate logical and physical modeling into the standard Iron Mountains software development lifecycle. Models and metadata have been published on the enterprise information management Web site for everybody in the company. It helps us to reduce project time to market, reduce the time to rediscover what each data element means, provides better understanding of data and data relationships, and helps to avoid redundant data structures in future projects.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: CA ERwin has very solid logical and physical data modeling design layer capabilities, great ability to compare a physical data model against an RDBMS schema, ability to compare two models against each other, change management/version control and ability to generate DDL (new schemas and differences). It provides physical models to maintain the existing databases and the ability to import and export data models in a variety of formats (DDL, XML, etc.)
STRENGTHS: Its easy to implement and use. It has a model manager environment. We can do logical and physical data modeling, and it provides reverse- and forward-engineering functions for various platforms. There is naming standards functionality and name hardening. Reporting can be through both data browser and report browser. We can export data models in different formats. There is fast time to value and ROI. A strong business value is delivered at a very reasonable price, with strong support from partner and CA from start to finish.
WEAKNESSES: It would be good to have a Web interface for the Model Manager. The physical model detail supporting the progress database environment could use improvement.
SELECTION CRITERIA: CA ERwin is the market leader and continues to innovate the product. It integrates well with the other tools in our IT environment and provides enterprise-class functionality at a very competitive price.
DELIVERABLES: For the last year, Iron Mountain has collected 160 development and production data models for North America and Europe into the model manager library. We received a published model for an internal Web site to support information sharing across the enterprise. We created a worldwide inventory of data assets through reverse-engineering many various systems/databases to create logical and physical models. We collected and maintained metadata for BI and tier-one systems, including business names and business definitions. We created and designed the process to support consistent naming standards to help improve reuse and data quality across the organization.
VENDOR SUPPORT: We find the vendor support is really great and the online support is very user friendly and streamlines the process. We also get excellent support from CAs partner, Programmers Paradise, who provided effective training and ongoing support as needed.
DOCUMENTATION: Online documentation is better than most modeling tools. It is easy to read and provides easily accessible information and step-by-step instructions.
CA ERwin Data Modeler r7.3
One CA Plaza
Islandia, NY 11749
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