IDG Contributor Network: The marvels of an event-based schema


The issue of schema—and what is frequently perceived as its inherent difficulties—is becoming more important every day. Organizations are increasingly encountering decentralized computing environments typified by semi-structured or, often requiring integration with internal, structured data for immediate business value.

Storing each type of origin source or application data in its own database is becoming less practical because of the need to cross-reference or aggregate data horizontally. Calibrating and recalibrating relational database schema for such big data demands is far too dilatory, as are traditional master data management approaches with their modeling and schema complexities.

The rapid storing and querying of diverse data at scale necessitates a simplified, all-inclusive schema without losing any information (which often occurs in schema simplification attempts). By turning every facet of a particular line of business into an event, organizations can rapidly utilize this approach for a flexible, comprehensive schema throughout the enterprise.

The results are a swiftly queryable homogenous schema that reduces back-end complexity for the timely incorporation and integration of the new, diverse data sources typifying the big data era.


The value of taxonomies

One of the primary enablers of this newfound approach to schema is the taxonomies which underpin this methodology. Since events can quite literally be anything, they need taxonomies to describe them in a standardized manner. The best taxonomies do so across the enterprise and have a hierarchy of terminology for individual business units too. Event types (which provide the greatest amount of flexibility in this schema) must be specified by taxonomies, which in turn enable the all-inclusive nature of this schema.

Taxonomies are also able to be queried. It is therefore necessary to have every important business concept input in the underlying repository as a taxonomy to provide the requisite detail for events and the schema they facilitate. The tandem of taxonomies and the event-based schema approach drastically decreases the multiple ways of referring to the same concepts across different databases, which plagues the majority of organizations that have different definitions and meanings for common terms such a customer.