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This review is from: Data Model Patterns: A Metadata Map (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) (Hardcover)
This is a very good book with a somewhat obscure title. Its subject is how to construct an information management system for a commercial enterprise. Its sub-title, "A Metadata Map" actually refers to the fact that the first step in building such a management system is to describe the business of the enterprise for which it is being constructed.
What Hay has done is update the absolutely first rate work of John Zachman who over twenty years ago developed the "Enterprise Architectural Framework" which is essentially a matrix that can guide the development of an information management system based on the organization structure and processes of the enterprise itself. The Zachman framework is the basis for the "Data Model Patterns" in the title of this book and indeed the book is organized around this framework. It provides step by step descriptions on the construction of an information management system for a notional enterprise.
It should be noted that Hay is well aware that information management is more than simply building a database (data warehouse). Information storage is pointless without some means of organizing and classifying it. In his experience as a consultant to Oracle he learned to model the structure of an enterprise not simply a data base. This is something that is possible using a relational database which can be used to describe the structure of an organization. The "metadata" used in this book refers to a description of the information used and to the description of the enterprise itself. As Hay notes there are many resources that can be used when constructing an information management system for a commercial enterprise. For example he advises going to the Business Rules Group to obtain both correct terminology and rules compliant with standard business practices.
This book is good as a practical guide and as an excellent exposition on the Zachman Framework.
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Initial post: Apr 1, 2010 12:04:19 PM PDT
Retired Reader says:
Admittedly this book is pretty far down in the weeds, nonetheless non-technical folks ought to read it for the insights it provides on what `metadata' really refer to and the knowledge it provides on how information management systems fit into any organization's operating structure. A little knowledge is not necessarily a dangerous thing as long as one remembers one's own ignorance.
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