A critical yet often overlooked element in a business intelligence production environment is configuration management or version control.
Each BI/DW team deals with configuration management typically in the following primary areas:
- Extract, transform and load code
- Logical and physical data model/schema
- Business intelligence semantic layer (metadata)
Most robust ETL tools offer versioning capabilities within the tool itself. Similarly one can use a Case tool to manage data model versions. It's the business intelligence tool which often lacks the configuration management option. So in case you are dealing with an OLAP tool (ROLAP, MOLAP or DOLAP) with limited options of managing versions from one production release to the other, check these options:
- Purchase a third party metadata management tool, some of these provide version management capabilities, though they may be limited in their ability to track and report changes between versions.
- The best alternative could be to purchase professional configuration management software. In order to manage the BI semantic layer versions, export data from the BI tool semantic layer (metadata tables) as well as the metadata DDL (Data Definition Language) into the configuration management software.
There are several configuration management tools available in the market, check out Perforce from Perforce Software
For more information, check out SearchCRM.com's Best Web Links on Business Intelligence.
This was first published in September 2002