In my last few columns, I have focused on technical implementations of object representation; therefore, this month, I'd like to look at how an organization's long-term information strategy affects how data integration projects are performed.

Presented with a collection of legacy data sets for the purpose of enterprise data integration, an information engineer may opt to proceed based on two different philosophies, which for convenience sake I will refer to as "pragmatic" versus "holistic." While either approach should have the side effect of integrating the data, the selected philosophy will have a fundamental effect on the planning, execution and long-term strategic value of the integration project.

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