Monday, March 25, 2013

Analysis Tools...

I've taken on an effort to port a custom data integration (PL/SQL, Java, etc) application.

In that regard, I'm doing a fair amount of analysis right now. So I need help finding two tools:
1. A tool that will allow me to map (visually or otherwise) a single data point from source to target(s). I typically use Excel. It's easy to use and available everywhere. Where it falls apart, slightly, is that a single data point may have one or more middle steps (i.e. not target) and one or more targets. I think I want something like this:



Keep in mind though, I have potentially hundreds of columns in a system with thousands upon thousands of...

A couple of people have suggested using an ETL tool like Informatica, Pentaho or ODI. Yes. But I don't see it yet. Besides, I don't want to map to actually do something...most of the conversion has already been done and I'm picking it up at a particular step (near the beginning). What's missing is that mapping document that I want to create for everything...but that's another story.

2. I want to to look at a view and know where those stupid unaliased columns are sourced from. A very, very basic example:
SELECT
  hs.column_1,
  hs.column_2,
  add.address_line_1,
  var_value_01,
  var_value_02
FROM
  big_table hs,
  address_table add,
  other_random_table ran
WHERE hs.address_id = add.address_id
  AND hs.random_id = ran.random_id
VAR_VALUE_01 and VAR_VALUE_02, why don't you have aliases? Why did your developer neglect you so? Why can't every single developer just remember that someone, someday, will have to look at their code? Please? Pretty please? Or did you know it would be me and thus you did it on purpose? If so, I'm not talking to you again.

Anyway, it doesn't take me very long to figure where those columns are sourced from. What if there are 10's of those in a view with 100's of columns? Yes, not enjoyable. What if there are many views just like this that you have to analyze? Yes!

Data Dictionary?!

Not yet. DBA_TAB_COLUMNS? Nope. Come on! It's got to be there somewhere...when you compile a view Oracle checks to make sure everything is a-ok right? Doesn't it store that information somewhere? It must!. I took to Twitter, naturally, and Steve Karam, aka @OracleAlchemist found this possible gem:


I'm also requesting a feature in SQL Developer...or, trying to anyway. Back channels of course.

I've done this kind of analysis in the past, but it is usually a one off, so there never seemed to be a need to make it repeatable. Now, there is a need. A giant need. If you've got any ideas for me, let me know...

3 comments:

kgraziano said...

Hope you are billing by the hour... ;-)

Alexei Tetenov said...

Hi,
I've done a similar thing of identifyng dependencies by programmatically executing an explain plan and programmatically going through the explain plan.
Good Luck,
-Alexei

Alexei Tetenov said...

Hi,
I've done a similar thing of identifyng dependencies by programmatically executing an explain plan and programmatically parsing the explain plan.
Good Luck,
-Alexei