BimlFlex Concepts Overview
This section covers various concepts that are important to understand when working with BimlFlex.
BimlFlex offers a flexible way to configure different functional areas which act as top-level groupings of metadata and models. These are referred to as Customers.
Customers effectively provide a multi-tenancy setup that can be used to define different solutions, even within the same organization.
For example, if there is a requirement to deliver a solution for 'Finance' independent from 'Human Resources' these areas can be defined as separate customers in BimlFlex. Different Customers can also be created to look into different ways of deployment, for example when investigating a new technical target platform or data integration approach.
Within a Customer, all metadata is specific to the selected customer. So metadata that is imported or modified for a specific customer will not appear in a different one.
It is easy to switch between the selected customer in BimlFlex. This can be done from the BimlFlex Toolbar.
BimlFlex supports management of changes in metadata over time. These changes are managed in Versions.
A version is part of a BimlFlex Customer, and a Customer can contain zero, one or more versions of the metadata.
Versions can be used to manage changes in metadata, for example to develop certain releases for internal use. A common use-case in a DevOps context is to configure a 'development' version where the teams can work on, and a 'build' version that is deployed in a DevOps process / pipeline.
Additional information on how versions are used in a concurrent development and DevOps context is available in the build and deployment sections.
In addition to regular versioning as described in this section, BimlFlex internally also records history of changes within each version so that a full audit trail is always available.
The Version Editor is used to manage versions of the metadata and BimlFlex versions for the active customer. The Version Concept allows for capturing changes in metadata and managing versions over time.
Working with Design Metadata
The primary source BimlFlex uses to generate data solutions assets is design metadata, simply referred to as 'metadata'. Metadata is most commonly in the form of Objects with corresponding properties, such as Columns and Settings.
Although it is relatively straightforward to define individual metadata objects, it can take considerable time and effort to create, update and maintain the number of objects that would typically be involved in an enterprise data solution.
The BimlFlex App allows users to add and update all the metadata required to automate complex data solutions, without ever writing a single line of code.
Developing data solutions is not always easy, and may need many specific designs and modifications to fully meet requirements. To be able to manage this complexity in a streamlined way, BimlFlex provides a variety of editors, configurations, overrides and design features.
The BimlFlex App is the main design area to configure your intended data solution. It consists of a number of metadata editors that are visible in the left-hand navigation panel.
BimlFlex provides an import tool which is accessible from the Connections and Projects screens, which can connect to a database source and manage the metadata BimlFlex uses. The following links provide more information about managing design metadata:
Data Solution Concepts
A data solution comprises of a number of concepts, technologies and decisions around information modeling and solution design. This section provides an overview of essential concepts that are part of these considerations, and how BimlFlex supports them.
Irrespective of the design of the data solution architecture, there are many options to make sure the design is delivered the way it is intended.