Data mapping is a very important aspect in data integration. In fact, it is the first step in the many complex tasks associated with data integration which include data transformation or data mediation between a data source and its destination; identification of relationships in data which is vital in analysis of data lineage; discovery of sensitive data like some last digits in a social security number; or consolidation of many databases into one while identifying redundancy.
Many modern business organizations are striving towards a common goal of uniting business and data applications in order to increase productivity and efficiency. Such goals have been translated into recent trends in data management like such technologies as Enterprise Information Integration (EII) and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI).
These technologies try to answer question on how organizations can integrate data meaningfully from many disparate systems so that companies can better execute and understand the very nature of their business.
In order to interconnect business more efficiently, many companies need to map data and translate these data between the many kinds of data types and presentation format that are in wide use and availability today.
There several ways to do data mapping using procedural codes, using XSLT transformation or using tools with graphical interfaces. Newer methods to do data mapping involves evaluating actual data values in two data sources and automatically discovering complex mappings between the sets at the same time. Semantic data mapping can be achieved by having a metadata registry consulted to look up synonyms with data elements.
Today’s enterprise data stored in data warehouses is of high volume data stored in relational databases and XML based applications. Both of these applications generally cannot provide for an attractive way for presentation of data to company data consumers, customers and partners.
In order to address these problems, several XML based single source strategies have been developed. But in some of these supposed solutions, there is still a lack of multiple transformation stylesheets for each desired final output. In many cases, the need to publish content from relational database is not met.
There are many software applications solution to address the aforementioned problems. These software help publish XML and database contents by letting the end user create graphical designs which can simultaneously produce stylesheets with data mapping for XML or data from relational databases and come up with nicely laid out documents in HTML, Word, RTF or PDF formats.
Some software applications also offer HMTL to XML data mappings. With the rapid use of XML for delivering structure data on the world wide web, HTML and XML has been used to work together to present data in a professional way. This HTML and XML collaboration allows user to separate content and formatting so that data can be used in more extensible manner for web applications.
The HTML to XML mapping software can access data stored in HTML format and convert it to XML without losing the document’s style. The conversion results in an XML schema reflecting the content model while an instance of the XML document contains the actual content and an XSLT stylesheet takes care or the presentation style.
The extensive use of data mapping together with a company’s robust data warehouse architecture and business intelligence system can definitely result in an orderly, efficient and fast business day to day operation.