BACKGROUND: GE Information Services (GEIS) is a leading provider of electronic commerce products and services, including electronic data interchange (EDI), messaging gateways, extranets, electronic catalogs and electronic marketplaces. GEIS manages the world's largest electronic community of over 100,000 trading partners.

PLATFORMS: The EDI Usage Data Mart developed by ZYGA for GEIS consists of an Oracle server component that runs on an HP 9000 UNIX platform and a BusinessObjects 4.0 client that runs on Windows NT and Windows 95. The ETL processes are performed using Informatica's PowerMart 4.5. The server component of PowerMart runs on the UNIX platform, while the client components run on Windows 95.

PROBLEM SOLVED: In order to continue to lead the e-commerce space, GEIS needed to get a better understanding of its trading communities. The solution identified involved a data warehouse designed to capture EDI trading partner relationships for those trading on the GEIS value-added network (VAN). The number of EDI transactions, the volume of data and the types of documents traded would all be maintained for every pair of trading partners. Such a tool would provide decision-makers with the ability to measure current and historical performance, while sales and marketing executives would have invaluable data with which to identify new opportunities.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The EDI Usage Data Mart maintains several years of EDI commerce data for trading partners on the GEIS VAN. Through a Business Objects front end, users are able to execute standard reports and construct ad hoc queries. In order to reduce the time required to build and maintain the data mart, Informatica's PowerMart is used for the ETL processes.

STRENGTHS: The EDI Usage Data Mart provides never- before-seen data in a straightforward manner. Additionally, the use of PowerMart greatly reduced the cycle time required for development and enhancements.

WEAKNESSES: Because of a need to minimize the adverse impact of data extraction on the commercial systems, document-type data is not collected for all trading partners.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Based on their proven track-record at GEIS and in data warehousing in general, ZYGA was chosen to design and develop the EDI Usage Data Mart.

DELIVERABLES: Throughout the process of developing the EDI Usage Data Mart, ZYGA provided key systems documentation from the beginning of the requirements phase through roll out. Meanwhile, the production data mart provides detailed reports on EDI usage statistics. Users can drill down to the EDI trading partner level and obtain detailed information about the companies involved in the EDI transactions as well as the type of documents that those companies trade.

VENDOR SUPPORT: ZYGA provides both systems and end-user support as needed.

DOCUMENTATION: Both system and user documentation are clear and comprehensive.

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