Data Replication

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Data Replication

Overview

Data Replication in Bizagi is a data-level integration mechanism which allows connecting the Process data model to external data sources.

Make sure you have read the Connecting to external data sources introduction.

 

With Data Replication, Bizagi synchronizes its entities with the external data source's information periodically (as a scheduled task) and so keep an updated copy of the information stored in the external table.

 

Data_replication

 

This updated information is stored in tables as a predefined set of values (Parameter entities).  These lists or records from tables are frequently selected in drop-down lists.
Examples of information handled through Replication are: lists of cities and countries, types of certain products, currency codes, amongst others (records from tables which are not transactional).
For data integration of transactional tables (master entities), refer to Data Virtualization.

 

 

How does it work?

Using Replication in Bizagi is achieved by:

 

1. Configuring the external system and its data provider (connection to the external data source).

Bizagi offers a assisted graphical wizard so that minimum configuration is required.

 

2. Defining a Replication Schema.

Bizagi will create a scheduled job to update, insert or disable the information in Bizagi, inbound from the external source.

This job may be carried out as a daily, weekly or monthly task.

The external data source will be kept as the single point of administration for that information (the external provider remains the information owner).

Once the scheduled synchronization occurs, the information will be presented to end users to manage it as part of a business process in Bizagi.

 

 

Important Characteristics

Data Replication applies for those type of tables in external data sources which are seen in Bizagi as Parameter Entities (those entities which have a predefined set of values to select from).

 

To view more information about Parameter Entities, refer to Entity Types in Bizagi.

If you wish to use this integration feature for transactional-type tables (called Master Entities in Bizagi), refer to Data Virtualization.

 

Configuring replication in Bizagi is easily done through an assisted graphical wizard.

The Replication Wizard assists in establishing the data provider's connection, to either Oracle or SQL Server databases (done in few steps and without the need of programming).

 

Supported database versions by the Replication Wizard (for native Oracle and SQL Server connection) are:

 

Database Engine

Version

Microsoft SQL Server

2016

2014

2012

2008 R2

2008

2005

Oracle

12c

11g R2

11g R1

10g R2

10g R1

9i

Supported version by the Replication Wizard (native connection).

 

When a project requires Data Replication against a different data source than Oracle or SQL Server (such as MySQL, XML files, Microsoft Access, etc), then it is possible to include a custom implementation and set up Data Replication through the Advanced Configuration.

 

This means that any other database engine not listed in the table above is supported for Bizagi Data Replication as well, but with an additional developed component required. To view more information about this option, refer to Customizing Replication.

 

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When replicating entities against an Oracle database, and in order to use the Wizard, it is required to install Oracle Data Provider for .NET.

  To view information about this requirement, refer to Installing Oracle Data Provider for .NET.

When using data replication or Data Virtualization against an unicode database, ensure that your Bizagi database supports unicode characters as well.

When using Data Replication against a Microsoft SQL Server database, it is recommended to set the server property Max text Replication Size as -1 in order set an unlimited size for text fields. This property is located in the Advanced page of your Server Properties.

 

Replication_MSSQL

 

Deleted values at the source are never deleted in Bizagi.

When synchronizing values for virtual entities, Bizagi will disable those records which are deleted at the source (will be flagged, using a database logical delete instead of a physical delete).

This is done in order to preserve data integrity for existing cases in Bizagi.

 

Major benefits

Using Replication in a Bizagi solution promotes:

 

Reusability by allowing  processes to be integrated with existing data sources (applications) and legacy systems.

This is a frequent requirement when there are legacy systems with no Service Oriented Architecture design for integration at a higher level (data-level integration is required).

 

By means of replicated entities Bizagi promotes the use of shared information, without interfering with the ownership or control of  the externally sourced information. This allows you to take full advantage of the information resources within your company.

 

For the actual implementation of the project, Bizagi's Data Replication has the following benefits:

 

The distribution of work amongst team members in Bizagi project is made clear.

The work is separated according to different roles: business analysts design and model Processes and business rules; while the IT personnel design, configure and implement the entities data model and integration solution.

 

Offers the business analysts a clean and corporate data model for both managing and exchanging Process information.

Business analysts deal with the data used by the Process as if directly stored in Bizagi Process repository (i.e, as local data).

In this way, they do not have to understand the complexities associated with the real data physical location.

 

Processes Workflows to not need to include any technical Activities oriented for this type of integration (such as data access to another source).

 

Therefore, organizational Processes remain easily readable and understandable by a business audience.

Business Rules for instance, also do not have to deal with data access or field-mapping configurations.

 

It has a single component that provides all the necessary data access management for Activities.

Through this, the solution's maintenance is greatly simplified, as the number of interfaces with external systems is significantly reduced.

 

Configuring Data Replication

As mentioned above, configuring Data Replication can be done in two ways.

In most scenarios the assisted graphical wizard will fit all your needs.

To view information about this first method, refer to Using the Replication Wizard.

 

However, for more complex scenarios you may want to use the Advanced Configuration options.

Such scenarios mainly involve:

The usage of data source which is not SQL Server or Oracle (using Custom Replication).

The requirement for advanced configuration (e.g. wanting to use an Oracle column of an unsupported data-type).

The need to manually adjust the configuration. This may happen in sophisticated scenarios where you have a whole set of tables which are related to each other. This may involve relationships with virtual entities, and therefore this configuration requires that all of these tables are replicated and virtual with some considerations.

 

To view information about this second method, refer to Using advanced Replication configuration.