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Patterns of Information Management Book Review

There are some books I think every CIO, IT Director, Enterprise Architect, Software Architect, Business Analyst, Developer, and Database Administrator should read. This book is one of them.

I have read plenty of books which I consider classics that will not lose their core value over time. They include Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, Patterns of Data Modeling, Service Design Patterns: Fundamental Design Solutions for SOAP/WSDL and RESTful Web Services, Master Data Management and Data Governance, Enterprise Architecture at Work: Modelling, Communication and Analysis, Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions, Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, Software Architecture in Practice, Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives, and Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond.

This book is now part of that list. This book is not only packed with knowledge it also contains a lot of wisdom. Presenting information is presenting knowledge, knowing what to do with the knowledge is wisdom. This book contains a lot of both.

The book begins with a high level look at the case study used and provides an introduction to information management and the challenges it presents. The introduction also outlines the structure of the patterns.

Chapter 2 provides a detailed look at the case study which includes 8 different projects. The projects each make use of different information management patterns. The author's did a great job on the case study they used to introduce the patterns.

The next 6 chapters break down the patterns into pattern groups. Chapter 9 groups patterns into solutions that are used for projects that improve company's information management.

Below are the chapters in the book. I have listed the projects included in the case study under chapter 2, the pattern groups covered under chapters 3 thru 8, and the solutions covered in chapter 9.

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The MCHS Trading Case Study
-Building an information strategy
-Creating management reports
-Creating a single view of product details
-Creating a single view of customer details
-Understanding the status of orders
-Delivering information quality improvements
-Connecting MCHS Trading into a B2B trading partnership
-Exploiting predictive analytics

Chapter 3. People and Organizations
-Information centric organizations
-Information users

Chapter 4. Information Architecture
-Information elements
-Information identification
-Information provisioning
-Information supply chains

Chapter 5. Information at Rest
-Information services
-Information collections
-Information entries
-Information nodes

Chapter 6. Information in Motion
-Information requests
-Information flows

Chapter 7. Information Processing
-Information triggers
-Information processes

Chapter 8. Information Protection
-Information reengineering steps
-Information guards
-Information probes

Chapter 9. Solutions for Information Management
-Solutions for changing information nodes
-Solutions for integrating information nodes
-Master Data Management solutions
-Big data and warehouses solutions
-Business intelligence and analytics solutions
-Information protection solutions

Appendix 1. Glossary
Appendix 2. Summary of MCHS Trading’s Systems
Appendix 3. Related Pattern Languages
Appendix 4. Bibliography
Patterns Index
Regular Index

The appendices and indexes warrant a mentioning. The glossary contains topics that are given a description, and a list of one or more patterns the topic is related to. The patterns index along with a regular appendix is nice.

In my opinion, the best way to read this book is to read through chapters 1 and 2, and as you come across patterns look them up and read through them. There is a lot to take in with a book like this, so it was not a fast read, at least not for me. It will remain by my side to reference for years to come.

I really liked that the authors explicitly pointed out the emergent properties projects run into as they move through the project, and how using patterns and industry standards give us the foresight we need to be able to plan for them.

The authors provide a really nice download of all the icons used in the book as well as documents that include a IBM Information Governance Model Whitepaper, Patterns of Information Management Summary, Patterns of Information Management-Reference Card by Group, Patterns of Information Management-Reference Card by Pattern, and a PoIM Icons summary.

Another thing I want to point out is that although it is published as an IBM press book, it is technology agnostic. This book applies to all technologies.

I found the author's experience level and ability to get all this into one book astounding. Their writing style is great, so it is an easy read, which is great, because there is so much knowledge and wisdom to take in, it is not a fast read.

All in all, like I said in the beginning of this review, I think every CIO, IT Director, Enterprise Architect, Software Architect, Business Analyst, Developer, and Database Administrator should read this book.

Patterns of Information Management

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