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Templates build consistency and quality into complex processes

Reduce deployment time and inconsistent processes by building best practices into your mappings.

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“Templates are a significant way of reducing your development time and enforcing standards.”

—Arindam Sinha, business intelligence practice head, North America, at Tech Mahindra

It’s hard enough to manage one project these days, so simplifying complex integration workflows can be an attractive proposition. The key is using templates to create once, reuse as needed. They effectively reduce deployment costs and save time by removing repetitive processes, reducing testing, and ensuring consistency.

“Templates are a significant way of reducing your development time and enforcing standards,” says Arindam Sinha, business intelligence practice head, North America, at Tech Mahindra, which provides software services, systems integration, professional services, and specialized consulting across industries.

After finding common threads in many of their projects, Sinha’s team realized the time savings that would result from establishing templates and reusable components. “These are things you want to do once and not many times. For instance, compliance with standards, built-in performance improvement techniques, and utilization of certain frameworks and models,” Sinha says. “Another advantage is that finding errors and defects becomes much easier and faster.”

Build in efficiencies

Sinha recommends three ways to exploit templates:

  1. Increase speed. Templates significantly decrease time to delivery of data to the business, opening up an opportunity to glean additional information from it. You can use lineage analysis, for instance, to show how the data was processed for governance and reporting purposes. Furthermore, once you learn how to build a template, the development time of each subsequent template is relatively insignificant compared with the benefits it provides.
  2. Manage “mostly similar” content. A shared content object is a good solution if you use identical content in your projects. Sometimes, however, the content may be almost, but not exactly, the same. How should you handle this? One strategy is to copy and paste the base coding and then edit it as needed. But that can be cumbersome, especially if many developers are involved. Instead, create a template once, insert where needed, and change as necessary for that particular environment.
  3. Enforce design consistency. Templates let you customize the design of many types of content objects. If you customize the design of one object, you likely will want to apply the same customizations to all content objects of that particular type. In this case, manually applying design settings each time you insert objects of that same type can be time-consuming. And it is a challenge to remember settings from one content object to another. A better option is to save a template of the object and apply the design settings to it. Then when you’re working on a similar project, you can insert the template and enter content as needed.

Avoid compromising quality

The past practice of working on mappings as unique works of art is now obsolete. You do not have the luxury of time. With templates, the possibility for heightened efficiency and innovation is unlimited.

“In the end, they save a huge amount of development time, which more than makes up for the initial investment at the beginning of a project to develop and learn templates,” Sinha says. “That is not something that everyone understands initially.”

Take advantage of predefined mappings by using and modifying online templates.

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