Engineer’s Notes

Automated, Painless Proof-of-Concept? Learn How MANTA Does It

The PoC (Proof of Concept) is a standard process intended to show potential MANTA customers that our solution works in their environments. To give you some insight into the process itself, we will walk you through it. Come right this way!

The PoC (Proof of Concept) is a standard process intended to show potential MANTA customers that our solution works in their environments. To give you some insight into the process itself, we will walk you through it. Come right this way!

Well, here’s just four things you should know:

1. It’s Automated

Automation has always been at the core of MANTA’s design. And we are very proud to say that our PoCs are easy, fast, and painless because of the amount of automation we can offer. There is one catch, though. MANTA needs to be installed (usually locally, but a remote option is also available) and connected to your environment (obviously non-production). In many organizations, that requires some effort – connections need to be approved by security officers and that might take a while. But how can you test anything without letting it – you know – do its thing?

2. It’s Free

Have you read number one? To put it simply: MANTA’s standard proofs-of-concept is free of charge because it’s effortless on both sides, and takes about 30 days (but most of it is within one week!). We know that many companies charge anything from $1000 to approximately a gazillion dollars to do a PoC. Our usual PoC is made to be quick and painless.

However, if the environment is complex, with a lot of proprietary steps and running on multiple platforms, we might not be able to run our standard PoC. Then there would be a made-to-measure PoC, with a fee depending on the amount of custom work required. It’s not a full integration, so we always agree on the scope, clear terms and conditions with each customer at the beginning so nobody is left in the wind.

3. It’s Properly Tracked & Documented

And that’s why we have everything logged via a simple, yet powerful documentation process. And how does that work?

There are usually five people who participate in the PoC process:

  • Sales and Technical Support experts from MANTA (That’s two and only two, we promise. No need to get overwhelmed.)
  • And on the customer’s side: PoC Manager for the process (let’s call him the champion, shall we?), Technical Participant who knows the environment, and Evaluation Analyst capable of evaluating results and the added value of MANTA in the overall solution implementation process (that’s three, obviously not all of them are needed at any given moment)

Set-Up

The process itself usually kicks off with a pre-installation phase, where the customer and MANTA check-off a list of prerequisites prior to the installation phase. These vary based on the technologies selected for the PoC, but we do have a list of requirements ready. After that comes the installation phase, where the future administrator/manager of MANTA is trained on the application and the software is installed into the customer’s system, configured and, finally, tested!

Live Testing

Then comes an inspection of the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that serves to verify how the solutions work. After the future MANTA users are trained on the software, they summarize how satisfied they were with the test.

The KPIs usually include:

  • the amount of automatically visualized data lineage and if it is visualized correctly
  • the amount of labor saved on a selected task, for example impact analysis, regulatory compliance, self-service or pretty much anything else (above 80% is what we aim to achieve)

We track this process in our system, MANTA Help Desk & Knowledge Base. The accounts are free of charge for any number of people necessary for the PoC, and later, for the actual use of MANTA.

4. It’s Not Demanding for the Customer Either

It’s completed in 30 days, but most of the work is done within a week or so. Yes, you can install-test-uninstall MANTA way faster (within one day or less), but these are the best practices that help our customers to achieve the most successful PoC possible (and hey, it’s still faster and cheaper than the other guys, right?).

For the technical part of the process, a physical or virtual machine with these specs is needed:

  • CPU minimum: 4 cores at 2.5 GHz
  • RAM minimum: 8 GB
  • HDD: 100 MB for Manta + space for metadata up to several dozens of GBs

There’s no need to have a dedicated machine, a virtual machine with these resources is also ok. You can use existing machine to start the PoC as soon as possible. Check out our supported technologies list for stuff that we can parse, and let’s just say that machine-wise, anything you can run Java on should be just fine. Or just ask us at manta@getmanta.com.

What the API*?#! – A Guide to MANTA’s API

If you are a regular reader, you might have noticed that the second half of 2017 was filled with all kinds of API updates. But what are they for, how do they work, and why do we have them? Here is a much-needed guide to our APIs!

If you are a regular reader, you might have noticed that the second half of 2017 was filled with all kinds of API updates. But what are they for, how do they work, and why do we have them? Here is a much-needed guide to our APIs!

The Repository API

MANTA made this API to allow customers to have a metadata management solution that is tailored to fit their needs. It is often tricky to find a solution with the exact functions you are looking for. This can be solved by requesting a custom-made tool from a professional developer or a consultancy company, but these tools will always lack MANTA’s critical metadata-reading capabilities. Or, you can get MANTA’s API!

The Repository API works with metadata that have already been processed by MANTA. It allows customers to take the data from MANTA’s native repository (reusing all of MANTA’s capabilities, like filtering) and inject them into any piece of software.

For example, let’s say your company is interested in only one table or column and has a program for watching this particular data. It can have an employee check MANTA on a daily basis and report the changes – or it can connect MANTA to a reporting tool through the Repository API and let it scan the area automatically, saving the company hours of time and a fair amount of money.

The Service API

The Service API was created for partners that want to use MANTA’s SQL scanning capabilities together with their own solutions. MANTA can be connected to their software and help them understand the parts of logic written in SQL (SQL overrides, Informatica Powercenter, Cognos, etc.) in the system they are analyzing.

If the partner’s solution isn’t able to analyze some of the custom SQL code in the data warehouse being analyzed, it can lead to incomplete data lineage because those parts are just playing hide-and-go-seek with them.

By integrating with MANTA or connecting the Service API to their own connectors (i.e., ETL scanners, reporting platforms), partners can borrow MANTA’s super-power and use it whenever they need to! The opportunities with the Service API in large-scale projects are limitless.

The Summary?

MANTA can help you get end-to-end data lineage no matter what metadata management or data governance solution you have.  We want partners and customers to be able to trust their own data and for that to be achievable for everyone. And we believe these APIs can do just that.

Need some Lineage yourself? manta@getmanta.com is the address. Shoot us an e-mail and we’ll set up a demo no matter what metadata management or data governance solution you have.

A Tech Support Love Letter: Be Our Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is heading our way and we know who our Valentine will be, but do you? We’ve made you this card so you can see how our customers get nothing but love and affection from MANTA’s support and development teams. It’s a love letter in numbers, enjoy!

Valentine’s Day is heading our way and we know who our Valentine will be, but do you? We’ve made you this card so you can see how our customers get nothing but love and affection from MANTA’s support and development teams. It’s a love letter in numbers, enjoy!

With love, MANTA.

A LOVE LETTER IN NUMBERS

MANTA 3.20: SSIS is in The Building, & More…

Well, well, well, another year is coming to an end! MANTA 3.20 is our last release of 2017, and we have made sure it will make it a year to remember. If you read this break-down, you will see just how much of a powerful finish it really is.

Well, well, well, another year is coming to an end! MANTA 3.20 is our last release of 2017, and we have made sure it will make it a year to remember. If you read this break-down, you will see just how much of a powerful finish it really is.

Microsoft SSIS

It has been coming to this moment for quite some time now. And here it is: MANTA now officially supports Microsoft SSIS. We support SSIS 2012 and newer. But we probably know what you are thinking: SSIS is an ETL tool, but MANTA doesn’t support ETL tools, so what’s going on?

SSIS is an ETL tool, but with plenty of SQL woven into it like it’s your granny’s holiday sweater. Since MANTA gets along so well with SQL, it comes as no surprise that it can effectively parse the code in the environment and provide you with the good old data lineage you’ve been waiting for.

Export

It’s always nice to get some of those foreign goods – that’s what TopQuadrant users will think from now on! MANTA 3.20 has fully automated the export of physical metadata to TopQuadrant TopBraid Enterprise Data Governance 5.4. Now you can have automatic, high-quality data lineage in EDG in just a matter of clicks!

What’s up?

That’s kind of what we tend to ask ourselves when we open our IBM InfoSphere Information Governance Catalogs… so we added automatic reporting of differences between the current and last revisions. Automatic reports of everything that changed since you were away – Someone added a new relation? Someone deleted a file that led to a change in the course of data lineage? Now you will know. MANTA will let you know what has changed since it last exported data to IGC.

And just in case…

Is there anything you need help with? Do you have any questions about MANTA 3.20? Then don’t hesitate to write to us at manta@getmanta.com. We are here for you. We’ve always been.

Happy New Year!

MANTA: Online Demo for DB2 and Netezza Now Live

October 27, 2017 by

A brand-new online demo is live on MANTA’s website. Read more about it and, most importantly, check it out. 

A brand-new online demo is live on MANTA’s website. Read more about it and, most importantly, check it out. 

Finally! You may have noticed that our development center is producing new versions of MANTA like a well-oiled machine! The guys here in Prague are adding more integrations, releasing new versions of connectors, and working on customer demands on a daily basis. But what was missing? An updated online demo!

And it’s finally here! In the demo section of our website, you can play with an up-to-date MANTA, including all the new features in our latest release. Explore the two newest database integration family members: IBM DB2 and IBM Netezza.

We’ve also massively updated the parsers for all the other technologies you can try in the online demo – Teradata, Oracle and MSSQL. You can now also export generated lineage to CSV files and search in the source code. And that’s not all, the brand-new demo has all the enhancements of the visualization itself, such as a clever division of loooong horizontal columns and new shiny colors. So take a seat in the first row and imagine what it would be like to be a proud owner of MANTA.

But is there really a difference between the demo and the real thing? Well technically no, but there are some features that you probably won’t enjoy unless you actually have your own little MANTA; for example, features that would require those complex scripts that your company stores, that you might not want to upload onto our web demo… but we both know there’s only one solution to that one, right?

Contact manta@getmanta.com to find out how to become a proud owner of your own little MANTA. 

MANTA 3.19: Dynamic SQL Support, Fully-Automated Collibra, Service API & More…

The new MANTA 3.19 is here and it will leave you with exactly the same great feeling as the first sip of pumpkin spice latte on a rainy fall afternoon.* 

The new MANTA 3.19 is here and it will leave you with exactly the same great feeling as the first sip of pumpkin spice latte on a rainy fall afternoon.* 

In this version, we took a close look at our integration with Collibra and fully automated the whole process. Before, when we integrated MANTA with Data Governance Center, it required an initial setup that was tailored to fit each customer. But now it’s all part of the product, automatically ready to connect to your DGC!

This next new feature is a big deal for our partners who work with systems that MANTA doesn’t support, usually ETL tools, etc. These tools can contain SQL which our partners need to parse in order to understand their customers’ BI environments. With MANTA’s new „MANTA Service API“, our partners can now connect MANTA to their own solutions, make it crunch all the code in the customer databases that they can’t read, and then pull back all the information to provide their customers with detailed and accurate data-lineage.

So with the new “MANTA Service API” and Public API we introduced in our last release, you can now use MANTA’s SQL-analyzing superpower ANYWHERE. You’re welcome.

We boosted all the analyzation processes as well, especially the DB2 connector. So now when you are exporting to IBM InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog, you can see the SQL source code right in the window.

MANTA does static code analysis, and one of its handicaps was dynamic SQL analysis. In 3.19, we have made steps toward speeding up the process of analyzing dynamic SQL. MANTA is able to recognize and read your dynamic SQL patterns, although some specification is needed from time to time.

Last but not least there have been a few improvements affecting Informatica PowerCenter integrations. For example, MANTA can now easily read what database IFPC is connected to, which significantly decreases the amount of manual work required in the initial setup, saving many hours of valuable time on MANTA x Informatica integrations.

*We have not verified this claim; it’s just based on my personal experience. Please, don’t sue us.

Also, if you have any questions, just let us know!

Manta Goes Public with Its API!

Nowadays, every app, tool and solution needs to be connected to everything else. And MANTA is ready to join the club. 

Nowadays, every app, tool and solution needs to be connected to everything else. And MANTA is ready to join the club. 

You Asked for It

Here at MANTA HQ, we’ve been literally buried with customer requests to add various integration possibilities for Manta Flow. You asked for it! As of version 3.18, MANTA has a public REST API. This new feature, together with multi-level data lineage gives users the option to use MANTA with all kinds of technologies.

Through the public API you can connect MANTA to any custom tool or app and allow it to work with its data. How exactly? Take a look at this example:

Let’s say you have your own quality monitoring tool that monitors critical elements of data lineage for you. You can let MANTA export an excel file and then manually go through all the values, find out what their sources are, and manually look for changes. But now, thanks to public API, you can do all this automatically using your own tool!

Put an End to Boring Manual Reports

The tool can call MANTA’s API, automatically pull out all the critical elements of data lineage, and report the changes found. Now, you can automatically monitor all changes that occur to your data during a given time period, saving you and your company hours of manual labor spent pouring data from MANTA into your own tool.

And there are many, many other ways you can use our new API!

To learn more about capabilities of our solution, try a live demo, ask for trial or drop us a line on manta@getmanta.com.

MANTA 3.18: We Are Going Public… With Our API! (And More!)

Manta Flow introduces new API, complete DB2 and Netezza in IMM, and detailed business lineage transformations.

Manta Flow introduces new API, complete DB2 and Netezza in IMM, and detailed business lineage transformations.

This month we went all out. We sat down and worked hard to bring you MANTA 3.18 as soon as possible, because it wouldn’t have been fair of us to have kept these amazing features to ourselves. Come and join the ride!

Growing Integration Capital

Up until now MANTA has had a standard API, but from now on we will have a public REST API, which gives users many more options. Through the public API you can connect MANTA to any app and let it run impact analyses to get data lineage information in CSV or JSON to use in custom analyses.

Speaking of connecting, MANTA can now read both of the previously mentioned IBM databases in IMM and IGC. DB2 and Netezza users, now you can enjoy data lineage at its finest in your own data management solution. And while we were at it, we also improved our Oracle, MSSQL, and Teradata connectors.

Deeper into Business Lineage

Another life-changing new feature that we already introduced in our last release is business lineage. But, this time we went back to it and added business lineage transformations. From now on, your business team will not only see where the data is coming from, but what happens to it along the way. This makes MANTA’s business lineage as detailed as physical lineage, but in more businessperson friendly language.

Last but not least, we have made a few tweaks and fixes to our native visualization and improved export for IBM InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog 11.5. We’ll be more than happy if you let us know what you think!

Trust Your Lineage, All of It

Can you trust your physical, business and logical lineage? Manta introduces support for many different levels of data lineage abstraction. 

Can you trust your physical, business and logical lineage? Manta introduces support for many different levels of data lineage abstraction. 

When it comes to data, trust is always the key. And getting a complete overview of data flows in your system is necessary to get that trust back. Now, different types of lineage won’t mess things up anymore. It’s almost impossible to map complex BI systems on more levels of abstraction. Many different tools provide physical (technical), business and logical lineage, but this lineage is only good when it is complete. Like, totally.

Physical Lineage Is the Key

At Manta, we’re good at getting detailed and accurate physical data lineage from your logic hidden in programming code. Never mind SQL overrides, manually defined procedures, stored procedures – MANTA will just map it all. On top of that, we are now able to include different levels of lineage, but backed up by original physical lineage so it’s 100% accurate. And it’s all fully automatic, so there’s no manual labor necessary… Here is how it works:

First, MANTA will do what it is the best in the world at – map detailed and accurate physical data lineage from the logic hidden in your programming code.

Second, it loads external mapping between physical and logical or business objects (like business name to specific table / column mapping) from available sources and ties that with rendered physical lineage.

Third, it uses mapped objects (business, logical) to transform existing physical lineage so it is better aligned with the objects provided (i.e. no detailed technical transformations for business objects but rather simplified descriptions). The result is accurate, trustworthy lineage of any kind – based in reality and yet useful for everyone who needs to understand the specific level of abstraction.

Any Lineage, Any Source

It does not matter which technology your physical lineage is from (check out our list of supported technologies!). It also does not matter how you provide the initial business/logical to physical object mapping – it could be:

  • your favorite business glossary
  • a data modelling platform
  • plain ol’ Excel spreadsheets
  • virtually any other structured data format

From an Excel Sheet to a Data Governance Solution

Our main goal is to connect and share information with other tools and solutions in our customers’ BI. That’s why we are not only able to pull metadata from other tools, but MANTA can easily push everything back into 3rd party solutions. Want an example? At one of our successful implementations, MANTA:

  1. Loaded business lineage mapping from Collibra’s Data Governance Center
  2. Combined it with complete physical lineage from actual code
  3. Pushed lineage back to Collibra, ensuring that the lineage was complete and functional

Additionally, MANTA is always capable of visualizing everything in our visualization – feel free to take a look at our introductory video:

To learn more about MANTA, simply get in touch and ask for 30-day free trial!

MANTA + Informatica

MANTA completes Informatica to form a comprehensive metadata management platform. But how precisely does the bond work? [VIDEO BELOW ↓ ]

MANTA completes Informatica to form a comprehensive metadata management platform. But how precisely does the bond work? [VIDEO BELOW ↓ ]

Trust Through Understanding

Our product allows you to trust the data in your BI environment, because it is specialized in cracking SQL code and helps to fill gaps in metadata management solutions. It does not matter whether they were deployed to fulfill compliance regulations or create the backbone of your data governance efforts. The Informatica Metadata Management solution has a rudimentary capability to parse SQL, but, in our experience with our customers over the years, there are still blind spots here and there.

MANTA connects to IMM through XConnect (native API plugin), and enriches the metadata model of IMM with missing pieces of data lineage:

  • BTEQ scripts, stored procedures, views, and macros from Teradata
  • PL/SQL scripts, stored procedures, packages, and more, including DB links, from Oracle DB & Exadata
  • T-SQL scripts, stored procedures and more, including linked servers, from Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase (now SAP ASE), and PDW
  • NZPLSQL scripts, stored procedures, and more from IBM Netezza
  • DB2 scripts, stored procedures, and more from IBM DB2
  • SQL overrides from Informatica PowerCenter, Cognos and Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services

It fills in the gaps in data flows and allows our customers to get end-to-end data lineage (including those pesky indirect data flows).

Here is a live shot of MANTA + IMM,  fullscreen is recommended.

Beyond Lineage

MANTA’s ultimate goal is to understand the semantics of the code being analyzed. If you have ever thought about advanced performance tuning, real data protection analysis, automated business lineage extraction,or migration of your code base to a different platform, MANTA is exactly what you need.

For customers who do not have Informatica Metadata Manager, but do enjoy the advanced ETL capabilities of  Informatica PowerCenter, we are also able to provide data lineage in our own visualization or IBM IGC. MANTA’s open API allows customers to push metadata to 3rd-party tools such as Collibra, Adaptive, Alation, Axon, and others.

Faster and Cheaper

The impressive part is how fast MANTA works. It can map a BI environment at a speed that is incomparable with any  human workforce, which means you save quite a lot of money on man-hours.

If you would like a more detailed explanation of MANTA + Informatica, and how it can help with your current situation, be sure to contact one of our specialists! They can discuss your situation in detail and give you a better idea of how MANTA can help with your data governance efforts.

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