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CDIs-Non Functional Requirement-Reliability May 6, 2013

Posted by msrviking in Architecture, Business Intelligence, Data Integration, Integration.
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This is a strange NFR, but very important. The word reliable is more of English and looks less applicable in here?! Well, no. We are talking of reliability with the meaning and importance of data reliability in a data integration system – CDI. Please take a note of a point which I had mentioned earlier that in a CDI there is no change in meaning of data, but trying to align across organization perspective of what the data in the CDI system means and how true it is. It is necessary that all business, and technical teams agree with the definition of these data terms. After this is agreed, the technical teams have to implement logics – business, solution in the system to bring that “value and truth” to the data or information that is consolidated from different sources.

In this post, I shall share few thoughts on the questions that we need to find answers.

  • What is the tolerance level or percentage of erroneous data that is permitted?

With the above context set, this question should gather information in order to plan error handling and threshold levels in case of any issue. The usual way is to have a failed process restarted, or aborted. Now to do this we need to identify the tolerance (threshold levels) and handle to get the essential, business valid data.

  • Is there any manual process defined to handle potential failure cases?

There should always be a process which restarts any failed or aborted process due to technical or business validation errors, should this be done done manually or automated. In less tolerant systems this process should be either semi-automated or fully-automated, and manual in some cases. A known fact and familiar thought too, but we should elicit this from the stakeholders explicitly to understand the business information at the same level.

  • Under what conditions is it permissible for the system/process to not be completely accurate, and what is the frequency/probability of such recurrence?

This question is not to be mistaken that we could ignore certain levels of error in the system and could be unattended. Rather this pointer helps in understanding what are the processes that could be considered as business critical, and the inputs gathered here could and should be used in designing a solution to handle errors – especially the business across all the modules based on importance that is agreed with the business stakeholders.

Although there just three questions in this NFR, all inputs work in tandem with other NFRs helping to build in a less-erroneous, fault-tolerant and robust CDI. There is lot of business importance to these questions which actually feeds into the solution building, designing of components, modules, and data model.

So please share your thoughts or feel free to comment on this NFR.

Cheers!

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