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The Silwood Technology Blog

28th June 2017

A smarter way to find Personal Data in your ERP or CRM systems for GDPR

Data management, GDPR and the status quo We have just released the latest version of Safyr which contains new features which have been largely driven by the need to deliver ERP or CRM metadata for GDPR. Whilst Safyr has been available for many years and has been used by hundreds of organisations, there are those who […]

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10th March 2017

GDPR, Personal Data, ERP and CRM – How I learned to stop worrying and love metadata

GDPR – what’s all the fuss about? If you are involved with data management or data governance, I am guessing you have read, or at least heard about the new European Union General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). GDPR comes into force in May, 2018. It’s aim is to protect EU citizens by giving them more […]

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How to find where Personal Data is stored in JD Edwards for GDPR

Introduction to the GDPR personal data challenge Working out where computer systems store Personal Data (PD) data that needs to be reviewed in the context of compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a challenge in any environment. However, it presents even more of a problem where the PII data is in one […]

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Finding Personal Data in an SAP system for GDPR compliance

Introduction to the gdpr challenge Working out which Tables store personal data that needs to be reviewed for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a challenge in any environment, but particularly so where the system is one or more of the big Application Packages. Typically these are systems from SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and Microsoft. […]

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26th January 2017

The Business Value of Metadata for Data Governance

Guest blog post by Donna Burbank, Managing Director of Global Data Strategy, Ltd.   Data Governance has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, as more and more organizations see the value of data in driving business success. Data drives today’s modern business and increasingly, profitable companies are gaining a better understanding of its […]

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9th November 2016

Is it necessary to discover Microsoft Dynamics AX metadata?

Do you really need to discover Microsoft Dynamics AX metadata? The answer is a definite “Yes”, because as one of the world’s most implemented ERP/CRM packaged solutions for large and medium sized enterprises it suffers from the same metadata challenge as SAP, Oracle, and increasingly Salesforce systems. (According to Panorama Consulting Solutions’ most recent survey, […]

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18th October 2016

Data discovery – the step before extraction

What comes before data extraction? In any data intensive project be it a data warehouse, data migration, master data there is a data discovery phase which has to be completed before any movement of data can be performed.  This is what used to be called source data analysis and is in modern parlance more likely […]

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7th September 2016

Where’s the data? Avoiding data integration errors

Top 3 Data Integration mistakes I saw a fascinating post by David Linthicum on the Informatica Blog recently in which he discussed the Top 3 Data Integration mistakes which companies make and how to avoid them. One of these is essentially being unable to answer the question ‘Where’s the data and what does it mean?’ For the sake […]

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31st August 2016

Access and exploit Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 data model with Safyr

new supported package for safyr We’ve been working hard on a new capability for Safyr®. This is in the form of a metadata extraction feature to enable customers to quickly and intuitively access and exploit the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 data model. As a result we are adding a new package to our list of […]

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29th June 2016

Download sample data models for SAP, Salesforce and Oracle packages

data modeL Of all the blogs we’ve written here at Silwood, by far the most popular are the ones that are about specific Data Models for SAP, Salesforce and Oracle packages (JD Edwards, E-Business Suite, Siebel and PeopleSoft). We’ve done a number of these over the last year or two. For example we wrote about […]

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17th June 2016

“You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave”

It was interesting to read the announcement about Salesforce’s latest price hike which amounted to about 40% here in the UK and about 20% in the US. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/05/23/salesforce_uk_40_per_cent_price_hike/) Much of the rationale for the increase is based on the additional functionality now built into the product by Salesforce which makes it even more valuable to […]

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13th May 2016

Metadata or data? My ‘Elevator Pitch’ dilemma

Often when I’m at conferences, parties and networking events I get asked “so what do you do?” If it’s someone that I think has a real interest in our market, I will normally give them the benefit of my ‘elevator pitch’. For a Brit, the term ‘elevator pitch’ is in some ways very misleading. Firstly, […]

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8th April 2016

Transformation to a data driven business needs metadata

Introduction The theme at Enterprise Data World 2016 is “transforming to a data driven business” and Silwood Technology are delighted to be sponsoring the event again this year. This is a broad subject that covers a multitude of disciplines, for example, data governance, enterprise information management, master data, business intelligence and analytics as well as data […]

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3rd March 2016

Extract, explore and exploit Salesforce metadata using Safyr

Introduction to Safyr for Salesforce Salesforce has an easy-to-use data modelling feature in the Schema Builder. This provides a graphical data modelling interface to the Salesforce metadata, allowing the user to choose which Objects to include in the diagram, and with zooming and navigation features. However, when there are a significant number of Custom Objects, […]

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3rd February 2016

Using PeopleSoft metadata to model Customer Master

This is the latest in our occasional series of data models which we have produced using Safyr®. These give some insight into those common business areas in SAP and ORACLE applications for which an understanding of how the underlying metadata is structured are often required for Information Management projects. It’s a group of tables in the form […]

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4th January 2016

Metadata – one of Big Data’s “dirty little jobs”?

big data’s little jobs I happened across an interesting article by David Gee recently.  It was entitled “A guide to the little jobs that will make big data work.” (http://www.itnews.com.au/blogentry/a-guide-to-the-little-jobs-that-will-make-big-data-work-409655) What I found particularly noteworthy, not to mention refreshing, was the acknowledgement of the importance of metadata in a big data project.  This is not […]

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17th November 2015

Star schemas and snowflakes – finding data models in SAP BW

Understanding data models in SAP BW is a challenge Here is another in our occasional series of data models.   This one is a little different, in that it is about SAP Business Warehouse (BW). Part of the reason I’ve done BW this time is that we get a lot of demand for this capability.   Despite […]

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12th October 2015

Use Safyr to find the PeopleSoft Customer-Contact Data Model – quickly and easily

PeopleSoft Financials data model Here is another in our occasional series of data models of those common business areas in SAP and ORACLE applications for which data models are often required for Information Management projects. This time it is a set of tables in the form of a data model from a PeopleSoft Financials system, […]

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1st October 2015

How to Compare two Salesforce systems using Safyr

Today’s blog is about the Comparison features in Safyr®. This is an area of the product that may be not as widely used or understood as we’d like, however it’s very powerful, so this is an attempt to redress that. The feature is actually called ‘Compare Subject Areas’ – the idea being to export metadata […]

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8th September 2015

What are you pouring into your Data Lake?

WHat exactly is a data lake? Recently I have been attending some vendor webinars on Big Data, Data Lake strategy, Hadoop in the context of Data Warehousing and Analytics in an attempt to gain a clearer understanding both of the technology platforms available and more importantly some knowledge of the use cases and benefits a […]

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1st July 2015

Ever wondered how you could create an Oracle eBusiness Suite General Ledger Data Model?

This is the latest in an occasional series of data models which will give some insight into those common business areas in SAP and ORACLE applications for which data models are often required for Information Management projects. It’s a group of tables in the form of a data model from an Oracle Enterprise Business Suite system showing a […]

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26th May 2015

SAP “Run Simple” is great for the future, but what about the complexity of the past?

This is an interesting blog by Steve Lucas, President of Platform Solutions at SAP. https://blogs.saphana.com/2014/11/12/a-roadmap-for-simple/ The first paragraph reads: “Our CEO, Bill McDermott, has thrown down the gauntlet on enterprise complexity so to speak and issued a challenge to every single SAP employee: Make our valuable products and solutions simple to understand, simple to discover, simple […]

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11th May 2015

Why do Salesforce applications need Safyr to help the understanding of their metadata?

We’ve been surprised (pleasantly I might add) at the response we have received to the introduction of Safyr’s capability to reverse engineer metadata from Salesforce systems. It is rapidly becoming our second most popular ‘package’, SAP of course being number one. Why should this be?   All the other environments we support (SAP, JD Edwards, Oracle […]

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24th March 2015

Using Safyr ‘ ETL for Metadata’ to harvest Microsoft Dynamics metadata

As many of you will know, using Safyr® we can pull metadata from a range of ERP and CRM products, including SAP, Salesforce and PeopleSoft. Customers often ask about other packaged applications that they have implemented.  “Can you also do XYZ product?”, and our answer used to be “No – we can only do the […]

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24th February 2015

Modelling Salesforce application tables with Safyr and Microsoft Visio – a worked example

This is the latest in an occasional series of data models based upon the packaged application we support with our Safyr product. It is an example of modelling Salesforce application tables with Safyr. Many of our customers and partners are increasingly using Salesforce as an enterprise system of record and of course with the addition […]

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18th December 2014

“So what your product, Safyr, does is Data Discovery – Right?”

Well…er…Yes, and No.   We get this comment lots of times.  It’s sometimes hard to explain the difference.  Strictly speaking, we do ‘metadata discovery’. I like analogies.  Imagine I’ve moved to a new town and I want to know the location of the nearest Supermarket, Post Office, ATM, etc.   What do I do? I can ask […]

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10th December 2014

The role of application metadata in a Master Data implementation

We would like to congratulate IBM, Informatica, SAP and Oracle on their continued strong showing in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management (MDM) of Customer Data Solutions. I am not going to spend time restating the benefits that organisations can reap from a properly implemented Master Data strategy in terms of increased revenues […]

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1st December 2014

Application data model examples

We’ve had quite a bit of interest in our application data model examples from ERPs over the last few months.  A number of people have said that they don’t have a modelling tool easily accessible and therefore can’t see what the diagrams look like, which is a fair point. With that in mind, you will […]

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26th November 2014

Application metadata in an Agile Data Warehouse world

I have been reading quite a lot recently about the applicability of Agile methodologies for Data Warehousing amongst other initiatives and it appears to me that often the topic of source data analysis is under-represented in the literature and blogs so I thought I would discuss the subject of application metadata in an Agile data […]

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3rd November 2014

How to find Data Models for SAP BW InfoCubes

This is the third in a series of data models drawn from the various ERP and CRM systems for which Safyr delivers rapid, accurate and usable metadata.  Previously on this blog we’ve produced a Bill of Materials model from a SAP system and an Accounts Payable model from a JDEdwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 system. This model […]

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22nd October 2014

Applications, applications everywhere? And never the data to find?

We’ve been providing a solution to get metadata out of ERP and CRM applications for quite a few years now and a common question over that period has been some variation of:  “It’s great what you do for SAP (PeopleSoft, Siebel, etc…) – now tell me, can you do the same for our other packaged […]

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30th April 2014

Coming soon….Safyr for Salesforce

We’re going to be adding Safyr® for Salesforce capability to our product in the next release (due June 2014) so I wanted to give a taste of what this will deliver. Salesforce is much smaller than SAP or the Oracle apps in terms of the number of tables, but can still be challenging to understand […]

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13th February 2014

Are complex ERP data models holding organisations back or helping them move forward?

According to a recent report by leading analyst firm Gartner, heavily customised ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems will have achieved the status of ‘legacy ERP,’ by 2016. In addition they suggest that as more agile, flexible competitors enter the market and mature, CIO’s will need to plan on what to do with their ‘legacy ERPs’. […]

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9th December 2013

Perhaps it is time to start acknowledging the challenge of source data analysis?

“Garbage out, garbage in” I know, I know I have got that the wrong way round. Well, actually I did it on purpose to illustrate a problem with BI/Data Warehousing projects and incidentally many other Information Management initiatives. That problem is the challenge of source data analysis – particularly with SAP, Oracle and Salesforce packages. […]

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24th September 2013

Data Model of JD Edwards Accounts Payable – download here

This is the second in an occasional series of data models which will give some insight into those common business areas in SAP and ORACLE applications for which data models are often required for Information Management projects. It’s a set of tables in the form of a data model from a JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 system showing the […]

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16th September 2013

Are you a Data Modeler or Data Worker?

A few months ago I was at a meeting with a customer who was involved with a BI project that was pulling data from an SAP system into a Data Mart. One of the people at the meeting was very experienced in the ETL tool the customer was using for this project. We were showing […]

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3rd September 2013

Data Model of SAP Bill of Materials Explosion – download here

We are in the process of providing content which will give some insight into those common business areas in SAP and ORACLE applications, for which data models are often required for Information Management projects. The first one I have created is a data model of the SAP tables used in the BOM Explosion process.  The model was created following some analysis in […]

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24th July 2013

Is metadata discovery necessary on SAP HANA projects?

I picked up on a great blog by Jonathan Haun, Consulting Manager, Decision First Technologies recently where he talked at some length about the Data Modelling aspects of SAP HANA, click here to link through to it. I commented back that I felt that HANA projects needed to go through a data source discovery phase […]

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15th July 2013

Satnav and Data Discovery

  I’m always looking for new ways to explain what I do for a living.  It’s made hard by the fact that it centres on a product that doesn’t do anything quite like any other tool in the ‘data’ space – which is to make it fast and easy to navigate the data models of […]

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5th July 2013

Data vs Process: “This house believes that there is no such thing as ‘Process’ in a computer system, there is only ‘Data’.”

  I realise this might be controversial but I do believe it.  IT professionals have long talked about Process Modelling as the way to understand what a complex system does, while Data Modelling tends to be seen as the ‘Cinderella’ of the modelling world. But Process is merely the moving around of data.  When all […]

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19th June 2013

The traditional view is that metadata is boring and complex and should be left to technicians – perhaps it is time to think differently!

Metadata is boring and complex and should only be of interest to technical specialists and geeks! Well, that is a commonly held view; however in today’s environment where exploiting data, in the form of Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Master Data Management, Big Data, Data Governance and even Enterprise Architecture initiatives, is becoming more critical […]

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19th August 2011

Big Process and Big Data

I’ve just been reading what Clay Richardson over at Forrester is saying around putting data and BI closer to the sharp end of business. http://searchbusinessanalytics.techtarget.com/news/2240037726/Process-intelligence-gains-momentum-at-the-intersection-of-BI-and-BPM?asrc=EM_NLN_14612906&track=NL-544&ad=844365 I am also aware of some of his other work where he talks about Process and Data folks not talking to each other and causing real problems for the business. […]

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5th August 2011

SAP data model design and HANA

I just commented on a fascinating article http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/25147 by Jamie Oswald over on the SAP Community Network that relates to my earlier blog on BI and complex data environments. He amusingly points up the data model optimisation “battle lines” between the BI and developer communities. I quote… “Why are transactional data models really hard to […]

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