Work with the Tools You Know: Manta Flow + SAP PowerDesigner
Not ready to migrate to a new tool? Don’t worry – Lukas Hermann answers questions about Manta Flow and other metadata tool integrations.
When we introduce Manta Flow capabilities and use cases to our customers, they often ask one of these questions:
- That’s great that we can see the technical names of tables and columns in Manta Flow, but what about the business names?
- It’s really important for analysts to know if a particular table is a dimension table or a fact table. Is it possible to see that in Manta Flow?
- We distinguish three layers (stage, core, and datamart) in our DWH. Is it possible to visualize that somehow in Manta Flow?
- We have primary and secondary source systems, and we definitely need to know if a report relies only on primary or also on secondary ones. Is it possible to see that in Manta?
To summarize these questions: Customers are happy to see all the technical metadata, but they also want to visualize other metadata in the same tool that supports analysts in their day-to-day work. Our answer is that if they have that metadata already stored somewhere else, it is definitely possible to import it to Manta Flow (from modeling tools, business glossaries, or just from a bundle of spreadsheets).
And there are several possible ways to approach that, including our metamodel mapping platform that we will further describe in an upcoming technical blog post. But what is important for end users is that Manta Flow is not just another place to store metadata; it makes it possible to effectively visualize it. Let’s use the second question as an example:
The information as to whether a table is dimension or fact is stored as an attribute in a physical model in the tool PowerDesigner. Mapping is created that imports this attribute from PowerDesigner to Manta Flow. Then a new color layer definition is created assigning blue to dimension tables and green to fact tables.
When a user performs an impact analysis on a selected table, he can turn on this new color layer in the application and easily see which tables are dimensions and which are facts.
And what is really great is that he can turn on other layers at the same time, so he can easily see, for example, if a database is stage, core, or datamart. Manta Flow can visualize not only technical metadata, but also all metadata that are crucial for performing impact analyses effectively.