2 thoughts on “SOA deja vu”

  1. Your question is a good one. Others feel free to chip in, but here is a quick response. You are absolutely right that data in this situation will be initially stored in a CRM system, and a copy of that will be made in a master data repository (and maybe elsewhere, like a data warehouse). In this scenario the MDM repository is just a passive data dictionary, which at best will keep track of where other copies of master data are. In order for it to be more useful the enriched or corrected master data in the repository needs to be treated as the master source, rather than the data in the CRM or other systems. For this to happen the master data repository needs to be wired up to the operational systems via either an EAI approach or an enterprise service bus. In such a case the service bus would provide the “correct” master data to other systems, including the CRM system. This would involve an improvement in the overall data quality of the enterprise. Of course this is a fairly scary scenario in many ways, as it implies real-time or near real-time changes in the repository being propagated back into operational systems, but it is something that a few companies have done. In this case whether or not SOA itself is involved is a bit of a side issue. If SOA makes it easier for the EAI or enterprise service bus to feed data to the CRM system then all well and good, bit it is a nice to have.

    I hope that makes some sense. Other views are welcome.

  2. Sir,
    I am not clear about how SOA will work in an MDM context and would be grateful if you could throw some light on it. Having worked with Kalido MDM, I can understand that it provides a dedicated application where master data for the enterprise can be defined and managed well centrally. What I am not clear about is how MDM will work in an SOA environment.

    To take a simple example, suppose my CRM application maintains some basic information about Customers like name, address, etc but there are some duplicates in the data too. In MDM, this data gets de-duplicated and further enriched by, say, adding a demographics hierarchy (which is not maintained in the CRM system). The requirements for this set up are:
    1. When new customers are added, they need to be propogated to the MDM system where they will be de-duped (if necessary) and assigned to a demographic hierarchy.
    2. The cleaned up data (the relevant parts of it, that is) from MDM needs to be propogated back to the CRM system either periodically or in real-time.

    In this context, how and where will SOA fit in?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ram

    P.S: If the question is too elementary, could you please point me to some place where this issue is explained clearly? Most of the stuff on the web is at a high level and I am not able to relate it to the problem at hand.

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