How to Choose the Right Database and What is Enterprise Architecture?

Ron Mayfield, one of the most senior Enterprise Architects at Oracle, joined me to talk about his role and how it fits into corporate decision making. We discussed the role of an EA, and how customers can use a model and process to make smarter decisions about the database they use for specific applications.

00:00 Introductions
01:44 Ron's Career Trajectory at Oracle, and how he started as a trained musician. First Oracle database training and short Accenture stint before starting at Oracle around 1989. Ron worked in many different roles in Oracle before he became an EA.

04:45 Benefits of seeing many different examples of systems over time. Being able to anticipate problems way earlier in the life cycle of the project. This means you can help customers especially in the early phases of the life cycle.

07:00 Enterprise architects need to work with and coordinate with the 3 other architect types found in enterprises: information, infrastructure, and application architects.

08:30 Decision making done by a triumvirate of infrastructure, enterprise and application architects. Predominance of infrastructure architects that have enterprise architect role and why that is.

11:30 Why infrastructure architects hate change while app architects like it. in the cloud world, why application architects are becoming more and more powerful in the decision making process.

13:00 Cloud is automating away a lot of the infrastructure function within enterprises. Application teams and the system viewpoint: sometimes app teams don't see the additional complexity that may be required. Danger of individual developers simplifying things for themselves while dramatically increasing system complexity.

16:30 Information architects think about data first, and believe that if the data is valuable outside the application, that it must be reusable. Codd's point with relational was that apps should not own the data.

18:00 Organizations need to own their data rather than the code owning the data. Right data in the right format available to the right person at the right time. Time value of data is very important.

20:45 How highly visible social media companies encouraged practices different from this. Applications are in three classes: front office, core business applications, back office applications. You can identify valuable data in each of these application classes. Classically, financial data is extremely valuable, whereas social media data is generally far less valuable at the individual data item level.

23:30 The ICAM (Information Characteristics Architecture Method) model for understanding the value of data to the business and the information architect. 3 decisions: what is the best-fit information management technology; what is the best platform for that information mgt technology; best fit deployment in cloud, on prem or hybrid.

27:00 Eight characteristics important to and defined by the business and information owners.

32:15 Nine characteristics important to and defined by the information architects. Its important for the information architect to understand how these characteristics interact. Ranges for the various characteristics, how to think about these ranges and what they mean to the business.

43:30 Looking at characteristics for a particular use case using a radar chart. Use cases reviewed included social media, storefronts, supply chain, supply chain with sensors.

44:50 Ron details 14 information management technology targets and then compares and contrasts them. Difficulties associated with managing many different data stores.

53:00 How companies are using ICAM to make better decisions. Benefits and power of normalizing data along with the relational model. Data reuse via normalization and relational leads to much less code to write.

01:00:20 How to make your data models last for decades.

01:05:00 Final thoughts.

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