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As business data requirements get more complex, the design goal of a robust data structure looks ever more remote. Instead, we can learn from the eXtreme Programming approach. Build simple, add complexity on demand, restructure periodically. This requires a radical reassessment of traditional tools and techniques for data modelling.
Instead of building a data structure around fixed entities ... build a data structure around dynamic associations. This radical approach is supported by such notations as the Associative Data Model and RDF, and provides elegant solutions to a range of business requirements, from CRM and business intelligence, to e-commerce and the component-based business.
Derived Data
An operational database often contains data that are derived via an intelligent business judgement - such as credit limits. These data can be updated dynamically by closing the Data-Information-Knowledge-Intelligence cycle. This closure has both technical and business process implications.
In a complex system of information exchange, unfounded information may be circulated, used to support economic transactions - and thereby become self-fulfillingly true. Commodity speculation and stock-market fluctuations provide good examples of such self-fulfilment. Well-placed agents may be able to insert self-fulfilling information into the system; other agents (including regulators) may need to detect and counter such tactics.
ERwin, Sentences, System Architect

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Recent articles

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cbdi forum

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The Renaissance 
of Data Modelling
The new data modelling faces a new agenda, where business collaborations involve complex exchanges of information that cannot simply be packed into arbitrary strings of XML, where flexible interfaces require an accurate appreciation of the structure and meaning of the underlying vocabulary, and where integration of information systems across heterogeneous environments demands careful mapping and translation between different logical data views. CBDi Forum Interact

June 2001

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Information Services There are many ways of classifying web services. In this article, we focus on information services web services whose primary purpose is to provide information. There are two motivations for this focus. Firstly, there are some things to say about information services in particular. Secondly, we want to draw attention to the separation and decoupling of information services from operational services which may turn out to be a useful architectural pattern in itself. CBDi Forum Interact

March 2001

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