The Value of Separating Data Management from Presentation

Michael Vizard

The separation of management of data and its presentation has been at the root cause of many of an IT problem with the business. In an ideal world, IT would be left to its own devices to manage the data, while end users are given maximum flexibility concerning its presentation. Unfortunately, we have 40 years of inertia wrapped up in IT's involvement in the presentation of the data. In many cases, this has only become worse with the rise of software-as-a-service applications that tightly couple data management and presentation.

That's why it's interesting to note the arrival of a developer kit for building custom dashboards for use with the myDials enterprise performance management (EPM) software service. EPM, or operational performance management, as myDIALS CEO Wayne Morris likes to call it, has been a red hot software category since the downturn. Understandably, business users are asking for more information than ever in order to track business developments on a daily basis. And as we all know, a spreadsheet isn't always going to cut it when trying to track various trends.



But end users want to be able to customize the presentation of data, along with changing key performance indicators, to no end without having to call on IT or a service provider to do it. myDIALS has effectively given them the ability to do that within a SaaS environment by keeping the underlying data layer that drives the application completely separate from presentation layer used to drive the dashboards.

myDIALS accomplishes this by leveraging AJAX and other Web 2.0 technologies to drive the dashboards, while relying on a Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) to manage a multi-tenant SaaS implementation on the back end.

We live in a time when it's tempting to take a lot of shortcuts, but every once in a while it's nice to see all the components of good computer science finally come together in a way that not only adds real business value, but lightens the IT load as well.

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