SAP PowerDesigner is a powerful and flexible modelling tool; the scope and flexibility of the tool enables organisations to tailor the tool to fit their modelling methodology, instead of limiting their methodology to what the tool can handle.
To take full advantage of the capabilities of PowerDesigner, an organisation needs capable people, and it takes time to develop that capability in-house. In the meantime, the organisation will need to plug their PowerDesigner Capability Gap – this is where Metadata Matters can help.
There are essentially two services offered
Working on behalf of the Client
There’s never enough time to do everything you need to do. Let Metadata Matters help you to take the strain, to reduce the workload on your own over-pressed staff.
The capabilities of PowerDesigner can be configured using several different types of resource files and templates, and by external programs. Metadata Matters has the knowledge and experience required to create and manage these resources and programs effectively.
For example, common tasks can be automated to improve consistency and productivity – see the existing model extension “CDM LDM Productivity” for an example.
Metadata Matters has previously created model extensions to:
- ensure tables have the required audit columns
- collapse a hierarchy of relationships to simplify a model before generating a new model from it
- export model information in JSON format
- import Data Lineage from Excel
- build custom model validation checks
- and more
Configuring Database Support
One of the key strengths of SAP PowerDesigner for anyone using the tool to manage their databases is the ability to customise and extend the way that each DBMS is supported. It is simple to change the naming standard for constraints, or to change the syntax used when forward- or reverse- engineering database schemas. If your DBMS vendor introduces new features you do not have to wait for SAP to support them, and then upgrade the tool – you can configure support for the new features yourself.
Importing Model Content
Models do not have to be manually created from scratch by the user. There are several different ways to create a model from existing information (such as Excel spreadsheets). Let Metadata Matters take the strain out of the model import process for you.
Converting legacy models from your old modelling tools into PowerDesigner models may be a trivial exercise (such as importing a simple Erwin model) or a complex, lengthy operation. Unless you’re a very small organisation, the truth will be somewhere in the middle.
The best approach may be to use a Metadata bridge. Some modelling tools are supplied with an OEM version of the Meta Integration export bridges – this capability will be as old as the modelling tool, and inflexible. Using a more flexible Toolbus interface may be a better option. Metadata Matters can facilitate a model conversion service with Toolbus on behalf of the Client.
No matter which conversion route you follow, there are likely to be some actions needed to make sure you make the best use of the features offered by PowerDesigner. Those actions will cover these areas, and more
- Model extensions
- Methodology & Governance support
- Fix Common problems
- Applying Naming Standards
- Data Lineage
- Post-conversion for PDM
- Add useful extras
- Create Model template(s) based on converted models
- Model bundling
Supporting modellers by creating, reviewing, or improving models and/or the PowerDesigner Glossary.
Helping the Client to do the right thing themselves
To some new users PowerDesigner may seem complicated, especially if they have become used to the way that another tool works.
This is where the ad-hoc mentoring and knowledge-sharing service can really help, allowing individuals or groups of users to discuss their concerns with an expert.
In addition, advice and assistance can be given on administering PowerDesigner.
The Capability Support service can be provided remotely or on-site.
A more detailed list of services is available on request. Go to the Contact page to get in touch.
Last week I demonstrated how easy it is to import and draw a complete data model from an Excel file, using a silent video to show the steps. You can see it again here.
The Excel file I used in that video is just one of the sample files provided with my online training course called Using the Excel Import Wizard.
Completing the course will enable you to:
- Create and update models from Excel files
- Structure your Excel files correctly for the Excel Import Wizard
- Link imported objects to objects within other models; for example, linking LDM attributes to Domains defined in a different LDM.
- Improve the performance for importing very large Excel files
- Create multiple Excel Imports into a model from the same file, with different import rules
- Export information from a PowerDesigner model and re-import it after revisions
- Ensure that the Excel Import does not make unwanted changes to your model
- Create a complete Logical Data Model, merely by importing an Excel file
- Know when the Excel Import is not appropriate for your needs, and what the alternatives are
I’ve added a new topic to the ‘Special cases’ section of my online training course for the PowerDesigner Excel Import Wizard – “Importing subtype hierarchies in Barker Notation”.
Barker notation is available in the Conceptual and Logical Data Models, and it handles entity hierarchies differently from other notations – a sub-type entity is actually owned by the super-type entity, and they are depicted in diagrams as ‘boxes within boxes’. There are no Inheritance objects involved, so the Excel Import must be fed different information.
Click here to find out more about this course.
That’s the real beauty of online training courses — new material can be added at any time.
The first online PowerDesigner training course was released recently, covering the Excel Import Wizard that is supplied with PowerDesigner. This allows you to import practically anything from Excel into any PowerDesigner model without writing a single line of code – if you want to import content into a type of model object or property that does not exist yet, it can even define them for you.
A Canadian customer was kind enough to say that the course easily justifies the cost:
“I found it extremely useful and became aware of a lot more functionality that I was not aware of around how Excel can be utilised within PowerDesigner. This will apply directly to the work that we are doing as it will allow us to get stakeholders to populate Excel templates that our data modeling team can then develop into actual PowerDesigner data models.“
To find out more about this training, see https://metadatajunkie.wordpress.com/online/
The first online PowerDesigner training course is available from Metadata Matters. The course is called Using the Excel Import Wizard. The course is based on a workshop I ran at a conference a few years ago – it’s about the Excel Import wizard, a feature that I know a lot of people use, and some people have problems with.
Access to the full course material, a glossary of terms, and all the downloadable files is available for a small 6-month subscription. A 50% discount is available for the rest of 2019.
See metadatajunkie.wordpress.com/online for more information.
If you would like to see a preview of the content, a cut-down version of the course is available for free –
- go to www.PowerDesigner.Training
- click on Log in as a guest
- On the Home page pick the course called Sample material from “Using the Excel Import Wizard” from the list of courses. Follow the instructions to log in as a Guest