Multi-Mastering Data for Application Migration

5 minute read | 12 Aug 2019

By Shane Fisher

At Slalom, we work with a lot of companies that are migrating from legacy on-premises applications to new applications running in the cloud. Over the years, many of these companies have built custom applications on top of their legacy applications.

When it comes time to migrate to the cloud, they want to make sure those custom applications keep working, because their employees depend on them. Multi-mastering data, which synchronizes data across multiple applications, turns out to be a critically important capability in complex integration scenarios like this.

Here’s why.

Addressing the Challenges of Master Data Management

Supporting a company’s collection of custom applications changes the scope of a cloud migration project. We’re no longer just moving data from just one business application to another. Now we’re building new integrations to all those custom applications, so they work regardless of whether they’re exchanging data with the old legacy application or the new cloud application.

There are a few different ways we can approach this type of project. A decade ago, a company’s IT organization might have tried to solve the problem with a massive investment in Master Data Management (MDM), synchronizing and correcting all data across the organization in one fell swoop. But MDM projects often became expensive and ungainly, and rarely turned out well.

Another approach would be to hand-code a bunch of new point-to-point integrations, connecting the custom applications to the new business application. Of course, building and testing all those custom connections takes time and those hand-coded connections will likely require ongoing maintenance, creating a continual burden for the IT organization in the future.

A better approach is to connect the custom applications and services to a central data hub, and then to connect the hub to both the new application and old applications. The hub ensures that all applications and services get the data they need and that the data is consistent across all applications. At the same time, the hub spares companies the trouble of hand-coding lots of point-to-point connections. We get broad connectivity with a minimum of effort and without the expense of an MDM platform.

Multi-Mastering Data for Data Synchronization

This approach of connecting one application to multiple other applications or services is multi-mastering, or multi-synchronization. Multi-mastering involves synchronizing master data across multiple applications.

Simply put, your migration project will go much better if you multi-master your data. And once set up, you get the ongoing benefit of even faster and more efficient migration projects in the future.

Setting up that data hub does take some time. It takes about as much time as it would to build point-to-point connections to handle one data object. But once you’re synchronizing more than one data object for an application, the investment in a data hub really pays off. You end up with consistent data without excessive costs or maintenance work.

We find that multi-mastering data through a central data hub such as the Boomi Master Data Hub probably saves a couple of weeks of programming time for each data object being synchronized. If you’re working with a big business-critical application like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and integrating five or ten major data objects, the data hub literally saves you months of work.

Of course, once you’ve got the hub in place for multi-mastering data from one application, you can use it for multi-mastering data from others. The data hub is a central point of connection and control for integrating and synchronizing all your business-critical applications.

Reducing development and testing time isn’t the only benefit of a data hub. The hub also makes integrations easier to manage and monitor.

And the data hub improves data quality. You can guarantee that data fields and data records are consistent across applications and departments by ensuring that data passes through the hub, which enforces data quality rules on all its connections. The data hub turns out to be practical, affordable and effective approach to data management.

The Benefits of a Data Hub for Multi-Mastering Data

To sum up, then, using a central data hub to multi-master data helps companies by:

  • Ensuring that custom applications and services keep working when data is being migrated from one application to another
  • Reducing development and testing time
  • Simplifying ongoing maintenance and monitoring of integrations
  • Improving data quality and ensuring data consistency across applications and services

Whether you’re connecting off-the-shelf applications, custom applications, or both, a central data hub like the Boomi Master Data Hub simplifies your integration work and provides a convenient means of enforcing rules for data quality and data consistency.

To learn about all ways the Boomi unified platform can help your organization do more, contact a Boomi integration expert today.