Author: David C. Hay
Publisher: MIT Press, 2004
David Hay has produced another great book for the Data Architect, Data Administrator, and others who seek to understand data models, patterns in models, and metadata. It’s more abstract than
the previous Data Model Patterns, Conventions of Thought, and the focus is on information about information or metadata. The book is based on an Architecture Framework that is derived from John
Zachman’s “Framework for Enterprise Architecture”. Examples are well developed and understandable. Much of the book expands on work and discussions with the Business Rules Group
so you know the content is rock solid.
I especially liked the Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) for the EntityType, Attribute, and RelationshipEnd. This simple but comprehensive model allows for super and sub types and recursion. The
Class Model (UML) with its components parallels the similarities for the object oriented perspective. One of the fundamental strengths of this book is the ability to view metadata from different
perspectives. “Gemba” is a wonderful word from the worlds of Total Quality Management, Lean Thinking, and Six Sigma. It means “real place”. This book is “gemba”
for metadata. The different views or perspectives of metadata are excellent and perhaps that’s why it fits the Architecture Framework so nicely.
Within each chapter, David Hay discusses a column of the Architecture Framework. The chapter on people and organizations is awesome! He covers the business owner’s view, the architect’s
view, designer’s view and security and governance. Significant numbers of easy to follow color-coded diagrams accompany each section in all the chapters that clarify and elaborate on the text
discussion. At each level, the topic is put into the Architecture Framework for added clarity.
The chapter on the motivation column is also exceptional. I’ve never seen ERDs for mission, vision, objective, goal, desired result, means, tactic, strategy, directive, fact, business rule,
business policy, enforcement, and consequence. How outstanding! That chapter alone is worth the price of the book and it really got me to thinking in much larger metadata type terms. Those
organizations faced with governmental and business policies such as Sarbanes-Oxley will have much to think about with this data model!
Back in 2002, it was my distinct pleasure to read for the first time David Hay’s book, Requirements Analysis: From Business Views to Architecture. That book is excellent and is packed full of
features that really impressed me. He’s included those same terrific features in this book as well. So as I wrote then, I’ll repeat now: “The index is excellent! It’s quite
extensive, complete, and well organized. The bibliography is also exceptional and very complete. The glossary of terms is first rate! I especially liked the notations of chapters where the terms
were documented. All of these excellent features point to the superb organization of the book. It’s a classic read and a must-have reference!”