Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Why Microgen DBClarity Developer?


Some of you, particularly the SQL gurus amongst you, may be asking why you need Microgen DBClarity Developer.  So here are my thoughts.

I’ve lost track of the number of programmes, projects and initiatives I’ve worked on, but consistent throughout was a hunger for data to support the definition of requirements, business processes, success criteria, ROI, etc.  I’ve seen Business Analysts spending too much of their time writing SQL queries to get a better understanding of how a company’s product data is structured, or how their customer hierarchies are modelled, only for another BA to repeat the same process whilst on another project three months down the line.  Development resources are typically stacked trying to deliver the 50+ projects that are currently in-flight, and even if they did have a small window to help, they need briefing, and then the logic implemented need to be checked and validated.  It all takes valuable time.

I’ve seen BI teams, both developers and analysts, writing endless SQL queries and procedures to support the business’ need for insight – and that’s even when there is a full complement of BI reporting and visualisation tools available.  Indeed many large financial institutes have many hundreds of people developing SQL queries on behalf of the business, all without any real structure or control.

Then, to make matters worse, in a typical enterprise that has many flavours of database, the poor business analyst who’s just about become familiar with the Microsoft SQL syntax now has to go interrogate some data on an Oracle or Teradata platform!  I can hear the screams now… why does this date function not work, why is this join different…

The scenarios are endless, but take a step back and ask how many of these queries and procedures are inconsistent, how many versions of the truth are being reported out there, how many development briefs are misinterpreted and subsequent business decisions made on invalid logic?

And this seems to be the story wherever you go, whether on a large scale or pocketed away in small teams, the fact is every company has some level of SQL development that is going on in an inconsistent and uncontrolled manner.

So why Microgen DBClarity Developer?  Well we’ve addressed these and many other issues by developing a product that enables the visual creation and maintenance of SQL views, functions, triggers and procedures so that you don’t need to know database specific SQL.  A product that has a repository with full version management and security so that you can collaborate and gain control of your procedures, and one that I really love is the ability to define SQL expressions (e.g. a KPI calculation) once and re-use them across multiple queries.  With a fully featured visual debugger and features such as a “where used” report for impact analysis, Microgen DBClarity Developer really is an enterprise level SQL development tool.

So next time you’re trying to explain to a business user what your 200 line SQL query does, just think how much easier it would be talking through a visual diagram.

Don't forget you can download a free trial version from www.microgen.com/dbclarity

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