Key mapping, the linking of unique identifiers from multiple systems, is a widely used technique to address data integration challenges brought about by having common information scattered across multiple applications. The typical enterprise uses key mapping today for data integration because databases employ local unique identifiers as the most common navigation path to a piece of data and because most enterprises have the unfortunate need to store identical, similar or related facts in many places. Some optimists claim that this scattering of data will subside as monolithic enterprise applications deliver required business functionality. However, most realists understand that the scattering may subside but will never disappear. Others fantasize that the panacea of master data management (MDM) will bring us to the more enlightened state of one fact in one place. Great stuff, but during this slow and painful journey to paradise, we mere mortals must continue to rely on key mapping to rationalize native identifiers of common legacy data.
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