One of the biggest strengths of SAP PowerDesigner is the ability to configure and extend the modelling environment, allowing you to adapt the tool to suit the way you want to work, instead of adapting the way you work to the limitations of the tool. For example, PowerDesigner allows you to configure and extend the support provided for a DBMS, by modifying the ‘Database Definition File’.
In this session Ondřej Diviš from MIBCON DIMA s.r.o. will describe some scenarios where the ability to configure and extend DBMS support can help you significantly.
He will show you how to modify:
the algorithms responsible for reverse engineering a database into a PowerDesigner PDM
For 14 years I`ve been focused on CASE tool PowerDesigner and how it could be deployed to our customers in order to support their processes in most effective way. My job is kind of my hobby too (besides my family, motorbike and badminton) and I like to explore all the possible (and some impossible too) ways of extending and customizing PowerDesigner. What have I found so far? That PowerDesigner can help you significantly with so many tasks/processes around DBs (and processes, applications, development, architecture,…) that it is hard to imagine it, when you say it is just “another CASE tool”. And that is what I like to reveal to our customers too.
The free version of the Financial Industry Business Data Model has been downloaded many times – it’s managed using the SAP PowerDesigner modelling tool, and users of other data modelling tools need to import the PowerDesigner Logical Data Model that is supplied. There are two concerns here:
FIB-DM is a very big model with some deep super/subtype hierarchies
even if your tool can import a PowerDesigner model, the chances are that the import doesn’t work perfectly
If your tool of choice is Idera ER/Studio Data Architect, you can use the built-in metadata import feature to import the PowerDesigner model, but I know that you won’t be happy with the result, so I’ve converted the model for you.
Are you migrating data models from SAP PowerDesigner to Idera ER/Studio Data Architect? You’ll soon find that the standard PowerDesigner LDM import in ER/Studio doesn’t convert everything properly. For example, some data types aren’t converted in the way I would like them to be converted. I came across this issue when I imported the FIB-DM model (in PowerDesigner format) to ER/Studio. I could manually update the incorrect data types, or write a macro to do it. The macro would need to know which data types to fix, based on knowledge of the data types in the original PowerDesigner model. I didn’t want to hard-code the attribute names in a macro, instead I’ve used the template language within PowerDesigner to generate a macro to update the exact objects that I know there will be problems with. If you’re converting any PowerDesigner models to ER/Studio, you’ll come across the same issues as I did, so take a look at what I’m doing –
I’m working on my process to convert the FIB-DM model from SAP PowerDesigner to Idera ER/Studio Data Architect. I’d like to improve on the standard import. so I considered exporting metadata from PowerDesigner into one or more Excel workbooks, then writing ER/Studio macros to read the Excel workbook and update the ER/Studio model. Then it occurred to me – there’s an easier way.
Using the Generation Template Language in PowerDesigner, I can generate the ER/Studio macro with all the metadata embedded (like using Mail merge in Microsoft Word to create a document containing content from Excel). I have to use two different programming languages, but I’d have to do that anyway. This way, I know the macro has the right content, I don’t need to make sure I’m importing from the right Excel file.
Here’s a sample of the output – it’s a mixture of boilerplate text and metadata, all controlled by logic based on the model contents.
Here’s the top-level GTL Template that creates this. The boilerplate text is in black and the metadata selection is in blue:
One of my clients has been experimenting with their first Conceptual Data Model in PowerDesigner. They created the model using the PowerDesigner client software, and checked it in to the repository.
The PowerDesigner Web allows anyone with the right privileges to view your models using a web browser – here’s part of a Conceptual Data Model, shown in PowerDesigner Web:
You can see that I’ve selected one of the Relationships (called “Supplier >- provide -< Ingredient”) – the Relationship name is visible on the diagram, along with the two role names (“provide” and “be available from”).
My client was curious, because the same relationship, when displayed in the PowerDesigner client, did not show the Relationship name, only the role names. He wondered why that was so, and what he could do about it.
If you have the same question, or you are just as curious, please watch this video.
By the way, the diagrams shown here are based on those in Steve Hoberman’s latest book, The Rosedata Stone.