Application design with Semarchy xDM

Applications provide business users and data stewards with a customized experience to access and manage their data.

Application features

Models contain entities describing the master data of a company. Business users and data stewards require dedicated applications to access the master data in the hub, according to their roles, privileges, and requirements.

These applications may:

  • Display relevant information organized in a business-friendly way.

  • Support data management operations, such as data authoring.

  • Support user collaboration for data management operations.

For example, if the model contains Customer, Contact, Employee, and CostCenter entities:

  • An HR user would need an application showing the CostCenter and Employee data organized with hierarchies of cost centers, managers, and employees. This application would also allow authoring employee information.

  • A Finance user would need an application to see the CostCenter data in a hierarchy of cost centers and perform changes on these cost centers.

  • A data steward would need access to the data and errors to rectify them.

In a single holistic model including all the data domains (customers, suppliers, products, HR, etc.), you can create multiple applications (e.g., Customer Data Hub, Product Information Management, HR Hub, etc.) for the different business roles and responsibilities in a company. Each application exposes to users only the elements relevant to their roles, possibly combining data from multiple domains.

You can also create multiple applications for a single data domain, to support different views and capabilities for that domain. For example, a simple application for users browsing customer data (using business views) and another application supporting advanced customer authoring and manual match-and-merge operations (using steppers and duplicate managers).

Browsing and searching data in applications

The primary use for an application is browsing golden data. Browsing is done in business views, which organize the data from multiple entities. Business views incorporate display cards, collections, and forms to display data.

To search for information in the application, users can either filter within a business view or use the global search capability. Searching involves built-in search methods or customized search forms.

When browsing a business view, users can trigger actions from action sets to dive into the data or trigger data management actions such as authoring or duplicate management operations.

Authoring data in applications

The data visible in the applications reflect two streams of information:

  • External source systems that publish their data to the data hub.

  • Users that author (i.e., create, edit, import, etc.) data in the data applications.

Publishing data to the hub

Data curated in external source systems (known as the publishers) is published to the data hub using data integration. This data goes through the certification process to create golden data for the three types of entity (basic, ID-matched, and fuzzy-matched):

  • For ID- and fuzzy-matched entities, source data from publishers becomes master data, which is matched and consolidated into golden data.

  • For basic entities, there is no publisher, and source data is directly converted to golden data with no matching and consolidation.

Authoring data

Users can also author—​that is create, import, or edit—​data for any entity in the applications. The ability to create, edit, or import records is defined by the action set attached to the business view being browsed.

There are two ways of authoring data in an application:

  • Direct authoring via steppers: in a stepper, a single user creates or modifies a batch of data records, and then submits this data to the certification process.
    This method offers a straightforward "edit and save" approach for authoring.

  • Collaborative authoring through workflows: when a workflow task is assigned to a user, they author or review the workflow data using the stepper attached to the task. After completion, the user transitions the workflow to others or submits the data.
    This method facilitates collaborative authoring, allowing multiple users with distinct roles to edit specific subsets of information and perform review tasks.

Managing duplicate records in applications

Master records in fuzzy-matched entities are automatically matched using rules defined in the entity matcher.

When these records are incorrectly matched, data stewards can supersede the matcher and manually match and merge records, additionally overriding values in the consolidated golden data. Similarly, when the matcher has suggested merges without actually applying them, stewards can review, approve or reject these suggestions.

Duplicate management operations are performed in a duplicate manager, which can be triggered from the action set when browsing fuzzy-matched records.

Application components

An application is made up of the following components:

  • A set of structured business views to browse data.

  • Forms and collections used in business views to display one or multiple records.

  • Search form filter to search the data in the business views or using the global search feature.

  • An action set defining the available data management operations (i.e., creating new records, editing a record) available on business views.

  • Steppers executed to create or modify new records.

  • Duplicate managers to review, merge, or split groups of matching records and edit merged golden records.

  • Workflows, which consist of sequential tasks for users to collaborate on data management processes.

  • Application actions, organized into a hierarchy of folders. Examples of actions include:

    • Browsing or searching a business view.

    • Searching the entire application using the global search feature.

    • Opening the user’s My Tasks or profile pages, or a URL.

  • The application’s navigation drawer, which includes shortcuts to frequently used actions or folders.

  • The application documentation, which displays information and diagrams describing the application, its model, and the rules applied to the data.

Certain application pages, such as My Tasks or the profile page, are built-in and cannot be modified. All other elements are customizable as part of the application design.
When a model is created or upgraded from an older version of xDM, a simple application called Default Application is automatically created.
All applications running in an xDM instance share the same global application configuration properties, such as the export limits.