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The Source Of Truth

Don't Needlessly Replicate Data

Issue: 10.6 (September/October 2012)
Author: Craig Boyd (craig-at-mysoftforge.com)
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 7,208
Starting Page Number: 79
RBD Number: 10612
Resource File(s): None
Related Link(s): None
Known Limitations: None

Excerpt of article text...

In this article I hope to communicate the importance of not replicating data throughout the corporate ecosystem without first preserving the concept of a single source of truth.

In my family, we all love to read, admittedly to varying degrees. My wife and I are both avid readers and our two children both like to read also, just not to the same extent that my wife and I read. Their grandparents on both sides are devoted readers and so are most of their cousins. So books and thoughts about books are always permeating the conversations. The other day though the discussion came up as to "how do we keep track of the books we have?" We don't have a lot by our families standards, but I suspect we have more than the average household. What makes us crazy though is that we still occasionally buy duplicates.

My wife piped up that she has an app on her iPhone for tracking books and I told her that I also had one that I liked. I also know for a fact that we have an application on one of our desktops for tracking book collections. I promptly announced that we should have one source of truth for our book collection. Spreading the information across all of the known devices without having a single spot for it is not going to happen on my watch! No one understood what I meant so I made a point using time. I asked my daughter to look on her watch and then to compare it to all the time pieces she could find in our kitchen area. Three of the clocks in the kitchen were synchronized, but a fourth was way off. My watch reported a slightly different time as did my wife's watch and her iPhone. So I asked her to tell me exactly what time it is. She thought for a moment and said that she guessed it would be pretty close to three that were the same, but she admitted she could not tell me exactly what time it is. I then explained to her that the most accurate time pieces are atomic clocks and the further you get from them the more variation you get in time. I saw that light bulb go on and thus another wonderful moment of understanding was born in a child. But I digress.

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