Some may know that I have been working on porting the concepts of the PDI Data Vault Framework by Edwin Weber (@edwin_weber) to Informatica and Oracle.
Together with my team we have made quite some progress already, but it could be that this effort will be stopped for reasons I can’t disclose yet.
However, whether we continue this effort or not, we may have found an alternative for using the Excel sheets as meta data entry for the framework to work. More on this will come soon, when we have worked it out in more detail.
I use Evernote note links a lot and I think I don’t need to explain why.
Unfortunately, you can’t create them with the iOS version of Evernote. But there may be a workaround…
Inspired by @simplicitybliss post on adding Evernote notes to OmniFocus, which refers to the original post by Asian Efficiency, I started tinkering with that AppleScript.
It follows the same principe as explained in the post by Asian Efficiency. I use a tag “@link” for a note I have on my iOS device, wait for Lingon 3 to kickoff the AppleScript (which I run every minute) and synchronize again on my iOS device. And voila, the note link is added to the note at the end.
The script itself does an Evernote sync before and after the note links are created to ensure it works and it removes the “@link” tag from the note to avoid adding it twice.
The downside: you need a Mac running as some kind of server.
You can find the script here.
I didn’t bother to remove the original comments from the Asian Efficiency script, I leave that up to you.
A fresh take on GTD contexts
Sven Fechner (@simplicitybliss) recently reposted his view on GTD contexts.
As I wasn’t happy with my own setup anymore, because I just had too many contexts, I decided to give it a try. With the modern technology, particular contexts just don’t make much sense anymore.
What a change this has caused to my productivity already! I still need a bit of tweaking, but the results are already there.
Give it a try and click on the title of this post to see Sven’s original post.
Thoughts on Data Vault and Automation
There is a really great discussion going on with samples and all. A must read for BI professionals.
Click on the title to go to the blog.
During my evaluation of several data warehouse automation tools such as BIReady, Quipu and RapidAce, I have come to some sort of conclusion that is crucial to the success of using these tools.
As most of these tools take the source data models as a starting point, you better make sure it is correctly modeled. Even with BIReady that takes a “business” model, you need to have a good model. By correctly modeled, I mean that preferably your source is modeled according to 3NF. When reverse engineering an existing database model, make sure primary keys and foreign keys are defined.
If not, you can be sure that the resulting generated data warehouse (datavault) models are pretty worthless.
I noticed this when using some of the tools on a source model that I have at hand from a client. This model is basically based on flat wide files loaded into (flat wide) tables. Primary keys are sometimes not defined. Foreign keys almost do not exist at all. Normalization is not done.
You can argue whether this is a true source model. It is not, that is true. But it is all we have. A situation that you will probably encounter very often.
Mac OS automator workflow for getting direct link to @CloudApp uploads
I use CloudApp a lot to share files, mostly images. I often use the image links in blogposts that I write in MarkDown.
Unfortunately, the CloudApp application on my Mac copies a URL to the clipboard that refers to a page on their site and not the direct link to the file itself, making it more difficult to directly paste it as an image reference for the MarkDown syntax.
So I fiddled a bit with Automator and some AppleScript to create a service that will copy the direct link to the clipboard.
You can download it by clicking on the title of this post. This will bring you to CloudApp (not the direct link ;-)) with a zip file containing the Automator workflow.
You need to have Safari, the Cloud app and Growl installed on your Mac for it to work.
As I am new to writing Automator workflows and AppleScript, this may be a very clumsy workflow, but it works. Currently it is used as a finder service working on image files only but you can adapt it to any kind of file.
Usage: select a file in the finder, get the context menu and select “Services”, then “Upload to CloudApp with direct link”.
Should you be able to optimize it, let me know.
The issue that I had with the ODBC connection has been solved. I was using a 64-bit driver and should have been using the 32-bit driver for MySQL.
Thanks to Jan Vos of BIReady for helping me out! I will now continue my evaluation and post an update soon.
However, I’m under NDA, so I need to check what I can and cannot post here.
Last weekend I received the demo license for BIReady and tried to play with it.
However, I wanted to make it a real case study and not use the included demo databases which were already shown to me.
And there I stumbled on the first issue. BIReady’s repository must be a MS Access database, something that will be solved in a next version according to a mail I received from their support.
So I decided to go for the MS Access repository but then I got stuck in adding a MySQL database as DWH. Something seems to be wrong with the ODBC connection. Strange as the connection tests just fine using other tools.
Anyway, I’m waiting for BIReady support to be able to continue.
Until further notice…