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.