Ab Initio features an intuitive interface for expressing business rules — for capturing and operationalizing the important business logic at the heart of enterprise applications.
Using an intuitive, spreadsheet-like environment, business experts and data analysts can interact directly with data to develop, test, and debug their own business rules without having to learn traditional programming languages or work through software developers. They can update business rules easily as conditions change, incorporate new data or new logic, test their changes, and even promote their changes (with the appropriate permissions) into production, all without involving IT.
A global retailer developed their software at multiple locations around the world. Unfortunately, creating valid, anonymized datasets for testing was becoming a major headache.
A global retailer’s large software development projects involved development teams from around the world. Software testing requires valid data, and they had to test against the content of their databases — that’s the data that they’ll be running against in production. However, that data could contain personally identifiable information (PII). Transmitting customer PII around the world would quickly run afoul of many countries’ privacy regulations — this problem can really complicate the testing process.
This is where Ab Initio came in.
The standard solution to handling PII is to anonymize the data used for testing, which isn’t as simple as it sounds. Sure, it’s possible to simply overwrite customer names with “X” or insert random numbers in place of an ID number, but the end result is no longer valid data. Without valid data, it’s not possible to fully test the new software. Even replacing customer names with fake names is tricky: if “John Smith” maps to “Fred Block” in one location and “Ivan Tadeov” in another, joins on customer names can’t be tested. Even the fact that one obfuscation maintains the same number of letters and one does not can mess up the testing process.
The retailer was already using Ab Initio software to integrate different systems and platforms, including RDBMS from multiple vendors, software applications from third-party providers, and different real-time messaging technologies. It was a small step to take advantage of Ab Initio’s anonymization and test data management capabilities. Ab Initio software allowed the data to be anonymized yet remain valid for testing. No matter which team was doing the work, “John Smith” would always be “Fred Block.”
With Ab Initio software, the company anonymized their entire multi-terabyte data warehouse in a stunningly short time. They then created meaningful small (250-GB) subsets that could be easily and quickly transmitted to development teams worldwide.
Thanks to Ab Initio, the retailer could develop, test, and run their software anywhere in the world — and effortlessly maintain full customer confidentiality and anonymity of personal information.