Can You Find It

I am going to attempt to introduce a very crucial topic in the world of Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and Service Oriented Architecture.

Graham will talk about Metadata and man is it fun.  If you want to start a long and important conversation ask him about it, but be prepared to learn.

What I was thinking was simply just because you build it they will not come.  Because in most cases if they don’t know it exists they cant use it.  This applies to data or services.  So call it what you want Metadata or Services Repositories.

  1. Graham Boundy Reply

    I never met-a-Data I didn’t like – bad Trekie joke.
    When was the last time you used and index in a manual or textbook? My first judgement of the quality of a manual is an index that gets me to the topic I am looking for in one or two searches. Two examples: First, search a dictionary for the word: AND. Second, search an SQL manual for ALTER COLUMN. In both cases see if you get to the page that describes the topic you are looking for in one go.
    The same is true when searching for data. I like to find the information I’m looking for in two mouse clicks. Google is a fantastic search engine because, most of the time, in two click I can get to the information I want.
    Any metadata solution that has any hope of being successful needs to follow this paradigm – two clicks away.
    To my mind, google desktop (and or enterprise) is the closest tool to being there right now because it uses the same or similar search indexing as the www google we’ve come to know and love. It also does it with little or no interventions by me, the ignorant user. Regrettably, one needs a powerful PC because google desktop uses significant resources – assuming it is turned on all the time.
    It also works well because there is no/minimal security or barriers to entry on your PC. But when we start looking at corporate metadata there are some people who are really sensitive about what information gets shared with what 3rd parties and publishing of this information can become a bone of contention.
    For Jim, what this means is we are living in a world where the Duey-decimal system for data has not been invented yet.
    And as Roman points out there have been attempts, and are attempts happening now, to make metadata widely available for searching and dissemination of information but we still struggle with it. Just as there was BetaMax and VHS – both of which are now obsolete – there will be a Son-of-UDDI and a next attempt to introduce Corba and we will evolve to ubiquitous metadata. Some examples include: or and — I found these by googling “metadata standards”
    Finally Stephen: I have build it (metadata repositories) and they did not come because we couldn’t come up with an intuitive way to present the data to the user in way that they could understand it without having to have an in-depth knowledge of the metadata. And if you’ve got an in-depth knowledge of the metadata you don’t really need a sexy repository to figure it out.
    While ignorance is bliss – if the user don’t know the metadata exists they won’t use it and if they take the time to look for it if its more than 2 clicks away they will give up long before the find what they are looking for. U2: :But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
    And this applies to data or services. So call it what you want Metadata or Services Repositories to work it better be two clicks away.

  2. Roman Reply

    So Graham,
    I would love to hear your views on UDDI; in particular its ability/inability to standardize service and data discovery mechanisms. Would you agree that as more and more industry specific grammar/lingo has to be embedded into generic specifications for UDDI, the generalization and standardization of service and data representation on distributed systems/networks, which is the main goal for SOA, becomes harder and harder to achieve. Wouldn’t you agree that there is a chance for SOA to follow the same path as once did CORBA (as in complete CORBA specifications)?
    Patiently waiting for your response

  3. Jim Reply

    I do not understand your post. I am not sure what to ask. Is this a controversial subject or is it leading edge stuff?

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