Enterprise Data Management Tech Tip: Using Request Files for Troubleshooting
Welcome to the next Alithya Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Tech Tip! These will be concise blogs that communicate a valuable technical tip we share with our clients and also want to share with all of you to maximize your return on investment in EDM.
This tech tip will focus on secret powers hidden in EDM “request files” that can assist in troubleshooting and understanding why (or why not) updates were applied to your dimensions.
So first, let’s do a quick refresher on “requests”…
- Requests are the backbone of EDM and provide a built-in “create and submit” data governance mechanism for updating your dimensions.
- Besides importing dimensions from external systems, the only way to update a hierarchy is by the submission of a request, even if you are an application administrator.
- If required, approval policies can be implemented to provide additional review and workflow on requests prior to them being applied to the system.
- Requests can be interactive (submitted directly in the web browser or via REST API) or subscription-based (generated from an interactive request based on subscription configuration and conditions).
- There is a third type of request, generated from an import-merge, but that will be a topic for another day!
Requests can be executed by performing drag-and-drop or point-and-click actions directly in the EDM web user interface. For larger changes, request files can be utilized which are Excel spreadsheets containing a set of bulk updates that can be uploaded into an EDM request. Any action that can be performed in the web user interface can be handled in a request file.
The secret powers I’m referring to relate to request files – specifically, additional status and error messages contained in a request file after it has been processed.
For example, say I prepare a request file with 25 request items in it. When I start a new request in EDM and upload my file, EDM states that 3 rows will be processed but 22 rows will be skipped:
Why? Well, if I open the request file attached to the request (click on the paper clip icon in the request tray), you will see exactly why. EDM has added a Status and Message for each item in the request file. 22 rows were skipped because there was nothing to process (in this case, those 22 entities already existed in my viewpoint). 3 rows were processed because they did not exist. Even then, some property updates were skipped because the default or inherited property value would have yielded the same result.
Let’s take this a step further and look at subscription requests. When EDM generates a subscription request, it will attach a request file even if the original, interactive request did not use one. This is an invaluable troubleshooting aid to understand why something was, or was not, processed in a subscription request.
In this example, I performed 5 changes in my source viewpoint. Yet when my subscription request was processed, only 3 updates were captured. Again, open the request file inside your subscription request that EDM generated. Like before, status and error/warning messages will be displayed to provide further detail on what happened. In this case, two of my entities to delete did not exist in my target viewpoint. In other situations, you will see helpful messages such as “parent node did not exist” or “node could not be reordered because sibling did not exist”.
One final tip – did you know that any request can be downloaded to an Excel request file, even if the original request did not utilize a request file? Go to the Request screen and select “Download to file” in the Actions menu next to the request. Voila! You now have a complete EDM request in proper Excel format.
That’s all for this entry. I hope it was helpful and clarifies how EDM will enrich request files by including additional status and error/warning messages, which are especially useful for troubleshooting subscription requests. Stay tuned for more blogs on EDM!
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