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Data-Model-Driven-Development with SAP Power Designer

How SAP PowerDesigner supports data model-driven development

PowerDesigner is SAP’s industry-leading data modeling tool. It provides a data model-driven development methodology to support and align business and information technology (IT).

In this article, we take a look at what SAP PowerDesigner is and how it can help organizations of all sizes manage data-driven digital transformation.

Source: Sybase (now SAP SE)

What is PowerDesigner?

SAP PowerDesigner is a graphical enterprise architecture (EA) and design tool that supports standard methodologies and systems. It provides customizable templates that automate reverse engineering and code generation.

With SAP PowerDesigner, organizations can conveniently visualize, analyze and manipulate metadata for effective enterprise information architecture. They can also plan and manage versatile business transformation initiatives.

The data modeling tools help you create a blueprint of your existing enterprise architecture and see the impact of changes before they happen. It automatically captures architectural layers and requirements so you can leverage a powerful metadata repository and share the results with your organization.

SAP PowerDesigner provides a robust solution for capturing, evaluating, transmitting, and maintaining enterprise architecture metadata:

  • Align IT strategy with business goals, capabilities, and processes.
  • Conform to legal standards or regulations that require documentation of your enterprise architecture.
  • Capture and communicate change management for:
    • Validation – tracking cost savings and efficiencies through systematization and rationalization of architectures.
    • Technology changes – where your system is improved.
    • An acquisition or merger – where two disparate systems are merged.

Objective of SAP PowerDesigner

SAP PowerDesigner helps companies create a layout or pattern of their existing architecture. They can improve efficiency in terms of the overall operation of their business.

Some other goals of SAP PowerDesigner are:

  • It helps make smarter decisions that ultimately lead your business to better profitability.
  • By reducing risk, it helps meet both external and internal compliance requirements and regulations.
  • It helps leverage data as an asset to a business, increasing value and efficiency.
  • It improves collaboration between IT staff and the business through detailed reports and visualizations.
  • It provides robust modeling of the business, application, information, and architectures in relation to the technology.

The tool provides a solid solution for the most complex situations through integration with SAPHANA, SAP Business Suite, SAP Information Steward software, Business Intelligence solutions and the SAP Solution Manager Application Management solution.

SAP PowerDesigner advantages

Important advantages of PowerDesigner for companies:

  • Alignment between business and IT – Using link and sync technology, SAP PowerDesigner enables tight connections between your organization’s unique requirements, language, and data models.
  • Improve reporting – SAP PowerDesigner has a flexible, wizard-driven system for documentation and web-based reporting. It simplifies the lives of your users and IT staff by automating the reporting process.
  • Increase team productivity – This tool helps developers and enterprise architects share information through a secure metadata repository that supports all types of modeling.

Data Model-Driven Development & PowerDesigner

Data model-driven development is a format for writing and implementing software quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently. PowerDesigner supports all types of data models. These models can be broadly categorized into three types:

Conceptual Data Model (CDM)

It helps you analyze the conceptual structure of an information system and identifies the key entities that are important to an organization, their attributes, and the relationships between them. A CDM is more abstract than an LDM or PDM.

Logical Data Model (LDM)

It helps you analyze the structure of the information system, independent of a specific physical database implementation. An LDM already includes entity identifiers, so it is less abstract than a CDM, but it does not allow modeling views, indexes, and other more specific physical data models.

Physical Data Model (PDM)

It helps you analyze tables, views, and other database objects, including the multidimensional things necessary for data warehousing. A PDM is more concrete than a CDM and LDM. You can model, reverse engineer, and generate for all major databases.

PowerDesigner can link and synchronize these model types, which helps in generating a new model from an existing model.

How PowerDesigner supports business agility

Modeling plays an important role in enterprise architecture and PowerDesigner is the perfect solution. It unites all project stakeholders around a common communication base and helps them share their knowledge and collaborate.

SAP PowerDesigner has proprietary link synchronization technology that enables it to support enterprise architecture from goal definition to implementation. It gives users the tools to identify critical structures, strengthen collaboration between IT and business, and provide IT systems with the agility needed to respond to business, technological, and regulatory changes.

Some of the ways to support agility include:

  • Reengineering of existing databases
  • A common understanding of the data model
  • Easy adaptation of a modified model
  • Derivation of data models from CDM->LDM->PDM

SAP PowerDesigner supports enterprise architecture through the following functions:

Fully integrated models

The enterprise architecture model can define and visually represent the core of the architecture. Thanks to link-sync technology, this model can be linked to other representations (e.g., data, processes, and requirements).

Change Management

The impact analysis diagram provides a visual representation of variations to support fast and effective decision-making.

Enterprise Repository

The enterprise repository is highly scalable and remote. It offers multiple features, including centralized management models, role-based security, versioning, comparison, merging, and searching between models.

Enterprise documentation

By classifying connections and overlaps between systems, applications, databases, and other components, PowerDesigner provides technical and business professionals with a comprehensive vision that enables them to work more diligently and achieve common goals.

All of these benefits convinced me to use PowerDesigner to create and maintain the Enterprise Data Model. Interested users and new project members learn how to use it very quickly.

The product history (see Wikipedia ) shows that the topic of data model-supported development has been with us for a long time:

  • 1989 – The first commercial release of AMC*Designer (version 2.0) in France
  • 1992 – The first commercial release of S-Designer in the US.
  • 1994 – ProcessAnalyst was added to the suite in 1994.
  • 1995 – S-Designer becomes PowerDesigner, AMC*Designor becomes PowerAMC
  • 1997 – PowerDesigner 6.0 releases.
  • 1998 – WarehouseArchitect was added.
  • 1999 – PowerDesigner 7.0 was rewritten to take advantage of newer technologies and to provide an interface more consistent with other Sybase products.
  • December 2001 – PowerDesigner 9.5 was initially released, with maintenance releases through 2003.
  • December 2004 – Version 10.0 (Minerva release)
  • 2005 – Version 11.0
  • January 2006 – PowerDesigner 12.0 released with metadata mappings and reporting features
  • August 2006 – PowerDesigner 12.1 released with enhanced support for Microsoft Visual Studio and SQL Server
  • July 2007 – PowerDesigner 12.5 released with new ETL (Extract, transform, load) and EII (Enterprise Information Integration) modeling and full UML 2.0 diagrams support
  • October 2008 – PowerDesigner 15.0 released with new Enterprise Architec-ture Model, customizable frameworks support (Zachman Framework, FEAF, …), Impact and Lineage Analysis Diagram, logical data model, Barker’s Notation, Pro-ject support and lot more
  • November 2011 – PowerDesigner 16.0 released with new Shell, Role-based UI, Glossary, Impact analysis on the repository, Sybase IQ reference architecture wizard, New database support, Web portal enhancements
  • January 2013 – PowerDesigner 16.5 released with new features supporting SAP Platform: SAP HANA, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Netweaver and SAP So-lution Manager
  • March 2016 – PowerDesigner 16.6 released with Support for SAP HANA Calculati-on Views and SAP HANA Core Data Services (CDS). PowerDesigner Web can now edit Enterprise Architecture and Requirements Models.
  • April 2020 – PowerDesigner 16.7[5] released with new features supporting: Export from Web privilege, Limit the choice of model types offered in New Model dialog, New models added, Customize link symbol labels, Generate Models using the CSN notation, OAuth 2.0 Client Credentials authentication[6]

Take advantage of PowerDesigner with CubeServ

At CubeServ, our mission is to help our customers achieve long-term success through strategic information management. By focusing on SAP products, we have extensive expertise in best practices, industry-leading solutions and excellent networking with SAP.

SAP PowerDesigner has helped us keep track of our projects and initiate an intensive dialog between business and development. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your company achieve agility through the use of PowerDesigner.

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