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Demystifying Oracle’s Data Integration Offerings: DRM, EPMA, FDMEE, GoldenGate, & ODI
Posted on August 27, 2014
Author: Jason Sawicki, Performance Architects

With all of the current data integration offerings available from Oracle, it’s important to understand the strengths of each, what they accomplish, and how they might fit into your existing technology landscape. Read on to learn a few facts about each of these tools.

Data Relationship Management (DRM) is Oracle’s “enterprise-wide” analytic master data management utility used to maintain master data (dimensions and hierarchies) along with associated properties, attributes, and reference data. DRM provides a single point of hierarchy maintenance across the enterprise, which results in reduced maintenance efforts, keeps hierarchies across systems in-sync, and eliminates excessive report reconciliation efforts associated with master data issues. DRM also provides full audit capabilities for all hierarchy changes, and with the inclusion of the new Data Relationship Governance (DRG) offering, DRM now offers a fully capable internal change control and workflow process.

DRM can serve as a chart master where it functions as a true source for maintaining a Chart of Accounts (COA) or as a pass-through where it is used to maintain and simplify complex hierarchy maintenance activity. This solution excels at rapid change scenarios that commonly accompany merger and acquisition activities. DRM offers robust validation, query, transformation, and export capabilities across target systems in various technology platforms and for various purposes, e.g., ledger systems, relational data stores, planning, reporting, or analytic systems. With workflow and security in place, DRM allows business users to maintain and own their hierarchies.

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Enterprise Performance Management Architect (EPMA) is an Oracle EPM (Hyperion) focused utility used for maintaining master data and dimensions for the suite of Hyperion tools (Hyperion Financial Management  or HFM, Planning and Essbase, etc.). EPMA promotes hierarchy consistency and supports finance power user usage accessed via Hyperion Workspace. It uses a dimension and application library to manage the Hyperion environment and supports synchronization and shared dimension usage between applications. EPMA also provides a plugin for connecting to DRM to receive master data. The key benefit of EPMA is that it is native to Hyperion, with dimension management and reporting consistency across the Hyperion suite. EPMA is not intended as an enterprise-wide master data solution.  This view of the application demonstrates how easy EPMA is to use in the Hyperion environment:

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Since we get a lot of questions about the differences between EPMA and DRM, I’ve provided a chart that compares functionality between the two applications:

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Financial Data Quality Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE) is a data integration tool that helps transform data and metadata from a variety of sources into a consumable format for Hyperion products like HFM, Planning and Essbase. It is the evolved successor of the prior FDM product in that it now pairs both the former FDM capability along with ERPi in a 64-bit architecture. FDMEE allows you to apply mapping logic though a user-friendly interface, and manages the data load process via a web console in Hyperion Workspace. The 64-bit architecture adds scalability and stability, and with ERPi capability baked into FDMEE, connecting to source systems such as EBS and PeopleSoft is possible.

Another benefit of including ERPi capability within FDMEE is the elimination of an integration point as data can now move directly from an ERP source to FDM. On the navigation front, the tool now sits in Hyperion Workspace, so users don’t have to navigate between ERPi in Workspace and FDM on a separate webpage when making changes or running a job. Scheduling of jobs is also internal to FDMEE with a built-in automation process. FDMEE lets you source metadata from a source system and load it into target applications such as Planning; this can be automated and results in less maintenance for administrators. One of the highlights for FDMEE continues to be the enabled drill back capability down to the detail record level of the source system. For those interested in integrating multiple source systems into Hyperion FDMEE is a strong consideration.  Here’s an example of the FDMEE interface:

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Instead of a traditional Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) methodology for interfacing and transformation, Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) utilizes an “ELT” concept where the traditional transformation step of the ETL process happens last (data transformation takes place in the target database instead of prior to loading the data). This is a rethinking of traditional ETL for efficiency of code and data integration.

Similar to the older HAL and DIM tools, ODI is workflow-based and uses an interface-driven method of creating ELT logic rather than relying on coding. ODI focuses on business rule-based logic that is broken down into process steps such as mappings, filters, and constraints that need to be set up when implemented. Like HAL or DIM, ODI also uses adaptors for connecting to data sources. Interestingly, ODI contains a Hadoop adapter which is available for connecting to non-traditional data sources. ODI leverages the target database to maintain a staging area with temp tables which is where the process step code is applied. ODI is an IT-driven tool and provides a developer friendly interface for data transformation:

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The GoldenGate technology was acquired by Oracle in 2009 and is designed to support real time data capture and transformation. Oracle and GoldenGate state that this technology is “the fastest and most scalable real-time data integration across heterogeneous systems” and that it is “the most scalable heterogeneous E-LT data integration”. The solution also enables uptime even during maintenance windows of migrations and upgrades, and provides a modular, scalable framework that satisfies availability needs. This is valuable to customers in situations where critical systems must remain available at all times.

My opinion is that the real benefit of GoldenGate is that it meets business requirements in situations where high availability and data capture is necessary without interruption. It accomplishes this in real time by providing continuous availability and synchronization of database transactions across the enterprise. GoldenGate also supports data backup and recovery in real-time. In general, GoldenGate eliminates downtime and provides constant access to mission critical database systems.  This diagram from Oracle demonstrates how the architecture is separated into Capture, Trail Files and Delivery to allow each task to function independently and optimize efficiency:

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Author: Jason Sawicki, Performance Architects


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