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Data Governance for Federated Architecture: Overcoming the Challenges

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Federated architecture is a common enterprise architectural pattern.  There are many justifications for utilizing federated enterprise architecture.  For example, federated architecture could have resulted from merger and acquisition activities where the acquired divisions decided to stay on existing platforms. Or, it may be used for regulatory compliance in situations where each department must maintain its own systems.  The reasons may vary, but the impact on a data governance implementation is the same: mainly increased complexity in integrating the data governance system with the rest of the enterprise platform. And, as the number of systems involved increases and each system may have its own unique interface as well as data model, the impact becomes even greater.  Therefore, you must give special consideration to developing compatible solutions.  Fortunately, Collibra Data Governance Center, together with Collibra Connect, are well suited to overcome challenges associated with federated architecture. Let me explain.

From a data governance perspective, federated architecture can generally be classified into two categories.  In the first, more common and simpler setup, a central governance system can still be established to govern enterprise systems.  In this scenario, a single instance of Collibra Data Governance Center will be the master governance system, and a single instance of Collibra Connect will orchestrate integration between Collibra and other systems.  For example, Collibra Connect can trigger concurrent integration runs between Collibra Data Governance Center and other systems, and also perform the necessary data transformation.


The other type of federated architecture involves each business unit with its own divisional IT environment, including its own data governance system.  The biggest challenge with multi-master federated architecture is conflict prevention and resolution.  A robust solution is to implement a dedicated Collibra Connect setup to each Collibra Data Governance Center instance. Then, all cross-environment integration can be communicated at the Connect-to-Connect level, with each Collibra Connect instance implementing business rules specific to its business unit to prevent conflict and duplication.  The Collibra Connect instance will also contain orchestration logic and data transformation specific to its environment, thus maintaining independence between environments.


With the right deployment configuration, Collibra Data Governance Center combined with Collibra Connect can handle federated architecture with ease.

Adrian is the Product Integration Architect at the Collibra Centre of Excellence. He has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise integration, working for solutions vendors, system integrators, as well as in corporate IT department.