Macer Consulting

One Tool, Multiple Project Phases

About the company

Macer Consulting is a professional services company led by experts in business intelligence and data management. Founded in 2010, Macer is a boutique consulting agency with a small central team capable of meeting significant g data challenges. Macer helps clients get the most from their data through consulting in data management, integration, architecture, and business analytics.

SqlDBM helped:
  • Foster informed discussions with the business
  • Rapidly prototype project designs through logical modeling
  • Logical to physical with no copy-paste or static images through connected modeling as opposed to Lucidchart
  • Ensure incident-free deployments with DevOps Live DB baselining capability
I like to think, think again, then think some more, and only then put hands on a keyboard. SqlDBM lets me do that faster and easier than a whiteboard. Reeves Smith, Principal Architect, Macer Consulting

Macer needed a modeling tool. One that came equipped with advanced technical features yet was simple enough to present to non-technical clients. One that allowed for rapid logical whiteboarding of dimensional models and could gracefully evolve them into fully formed physical models. One that offered native support for leading cloud platforms like Snowflake as well as established on-premise databases. SqlDBM checked all those boxes and more.

Having incorporated design and technical details from the previous phases and functional descriptions from the client in SqlDBM’s data dictionary, the tool now evolves into the next stage of the lifecycle: documentation.

With SqlDBM, both technical and functional roles from the client organization inherit a thoroughly documented solution that stays in sync with the physical database objects. As downstream transformations are defined, accurate, interactive diagrams help orient the database developers and allow functional users to track data lineage.

Here’s the Plan

 

Reeves Smith, Macer’s Principal Architect, believes in measuring twice and cutting once. He uses SqlDBM to map out an initial relational model, which he will present to his client later. The ability to change view modes on a diagram - from simple boxes and descriptions to full column detail and everything in between - means that he can start with a straightforward interface that facilitates rapid, whiteboard-style design and transition to something more detailed later on in the project. During this phase, entities are defined, relationships are thought-through, and logical groupings are proposed. The tool doesn’t require any mandatory fields or properties to be specified upfront, allowing fast, iterative design.

The Review

 

Simplified logical view modes are not only useful during the planning phase, they are also great ways to present a project to clients. Using a web-based interface (with no software to install), the intuitive UI allows clients to interact with the tool with no prior experience. The ability to obtain client feedback at this early stage means getting the project right the first time, saving costly rework down the road. Once client feedback has been incorporated, Macer moves on to the technical details.

Operate

 

Unlike generic modeling tools (Lucidchart, Vizio) that don’t go beyond boxes and lines on a diagram, Macer can dive straight into technical development using SqlDBM. By changing the view mode on the diagram, Macer’s consultants can now jump right into technical, database-specific details and begin defining data types, primary keys, and advanced table properties like Snowflake clustering keys and post-script grants.

With SqlDBM, the developers can generate neatly formatted DDL from the diagram objects using the forward engineer feature--even though the UI is entirely visual and requires absolutely no coding. This, in conjunction with DevOps features like live database compare (to baseline projects and DB instances before a release), ensures smooth, incident-free deployments.