Application Design with Semarchy xDM

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

Applications Features

The model contains entities describing the master data of the enterprise. Business users and data stewards require dedicated Applications to access the master data in the hub, according to their role, 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 cost center entities:

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

  • A Finance user would need an application to see the cost center 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 fix them.

In a single holistic model including all the data domains (customers, suppliers, products, HR, etc.), you can create multiple applications (Customer Data Hub, Product Information Management, HR Hub etc.) for the different business roles and responsibilities in the enterprise. 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/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 using Business Views, that organize the data from multiple entities. Business views use Display Cards, Collections and Forms to display this data.

To search for information in the application, users use either filtering within a business view or the global search capability. Searching involved built-in search methods or customized Search Forms.

When browsing a business view, users can triggers actions from Action Sets to dive into the data or trigger data management actions (authoring, duplicates management).

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 (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 and fuzzy matched):

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

  • For basic entities, there is no notion of 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 using 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 provides a simple "edit and save" approach to authoring.

  • Collaborative authoring using Workflows. When a workflow task is assigned to a user, he authors and/or reviews the workflow data using the stepper attached to the task. When done, the user transitions the workflow to another user or submits the data.
    This method provides a more collaborative way of authoring, where multiple users with different roles can edit subsets of the information and perform review tasks.

Managing Duplicates 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.

The Duplicates Management operations use Duplicate Managers, triggered from action sets used 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 one or multiple records.

  • Search Forms filter or search the data in the business views or in the global search.

  • Action Sets defining the data management operations (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 composed of tasks for users to collaborate on data management.

  • Application Actions organized into a hierarchy of Folders. Examples of actions include:

    • Browsing or searching a business view

    • Searching the entire application using Global Search.

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

  • The application Navigation Drawer contains shortcuts to frequently used actions or folders.

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

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