Designing a System Dataflow Model for MIIS 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

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In This Guide

After the project team produces the solution proposal, the designer of the dataflow model develops the logical dataflow model. This model is a complete design of all the object types and attributes flowing in and out of MIIS 2003 that are required to meet your business objectives. The dataflow model also includes a brief description of how the objects and attributes relate to each other.

Scope of the Logical Dataflow Model

The goal of the dataflow model is to define the data that is imported into the metadirectory and the data that is exported from the metadirectory for use by various connected data sources as required by your business rules. The dataflow model identifies the following:

  • The data sources, objects, and attributes that will provide the data going into the metadirectory.


    During the creation of the solution proposal you identified the real-world objects that you want to manage through the metadirectory. The objects and attributes you identify in the dataflow model are the actual objects that are used by the various data sources to store the real-world objects.

  • The data sources, objects, and attributes that will use or be defined by the data coming out of the metadirectory.

  • Various characteristics of the data flowing into and out of the metadirectory, characteristics that might influence your design decisions, such as which attributes are required for certain object types and whether a value stored by an attribute must be unique within its namespace.

Part of the design process is identifying these characteristics and recording them for later use. You then use this recorded data when you create the integration policies and rules during later steps in the planning and design process.

The dataflow model should describe the ideal design that meets the needs of the established business rules. The dataflow designer need not consider the optimal design. The dataflow model describes in general terms any changes that the metadirectory might be required to make to data in order to make it useful for other data sources. Keep the following non-goals in mind while creating your dataflow design:

  • It does not describe specific import and export rules that need to be created for various management agents.

  • It does not describe the specifics of how the data is filtered going into or out of the metadirectory.

  • It does not describe how the data will be aggregated after it is stored in the metaverse.

As you design the dataflow model, treat the metadirectory as an enclosed system. Do not consider the internal details of how MIIS 2003 processes data through the metadirectory. Instead concentrate on describing the data going in and coming out, avoiding the specifics of what happens inside the metadirectory. Although you will need to think about some of the internal structure of the metadirectory, try not to spend much time on the details during the dataflow design phase of the deployment.

The details of the internal metadirectory design are addressed by the metaverse and rules planners. It is their responsibility to consider the optimal design as they investigate such issues as the Microsoft® SQL Server™ row storage limit, the complexity of the approach, the affect on the network, and performance implications. For more information about the duties of the metaverse and rules planners, see “Planning the Metaverse for MIIS 2003” and “Planning Synchronization Rules for MIIS 2003,” which are part of this collection.

Design Process for the System Dataflow Model

Designing the dataflow model consists of identifying and documenting the following:

  • The data sources used to store data about each of the real-world identity objects identified in the solution proposal.

  • The object types used by each data source to store the identity data that is managed by the metadirectory.

  • Specific attributes of those objects that contain the identity data that is needed to implement the business solution.

  • Specific requirements, such as data type and restrictions on valid attribute values, in order to maintain data integrity.

  • Policies that describe how the objects in each data source relate to one another by describing:

    • The data flows into and out of the metadirectory.

    • How the data from one data source needs to be modified so it can be used by a different data source.

The Design and Planning collection of the MIIS 2003 Technical Library contains several worksheets that you should complete and include with your dataflow design document. Sample worksheets are provided that give detailed examples of how to use these worksheets for implementing MIIS 2003.

Figure 1 illustrates the process steps for designing your dataflow model.

Figure 1: Steps for Designing Your System Dataflow Model


Project Deliverables for the Dataflow Design

During the initial stage of your identity integration project, you did the following:

  • Identified project team members.

  • Defined the project structure.

  • Documented the business goals of the project.

  • Assessed your current IT infrastructure.

  • Created the project vision and defined project scope.

  • Selected the candidate solution.

  • Developed the solution proposal.

  • Assessed relevant project risks.

During the creation of the solution proposal you developed solution objectives based on real-world identities and your business goals around managing those identities. The real-world identity objects are the foundation of your dataflow model.

During the dataflow design process, you examine these identities and determine where they currently exist in your environment. You identify the various connected data sources, objects, and attributes that are used across your enterprise to store and manage this data. Then, you determine how this data needs to be imported into the metadirectory and what policies need to be created in order to solve the issues outlined by the business rules presented in the solution proposal.

After you make these decisions, record the data source, object, and policy information about the following worksheets:

  • Real-World Identity Objects worksheet

  • Connected Data Sources worksheet

  • Object-level Policies worksheet

  • Included Attributes worksheet

  • Outbound Attribute Flow worksheet

  • Metaverse Object Design worksheet

You might not be able to completely fill out these worksheets during this stage in the design process, but you will have an opportunity to return to them before design and planning are complete.

It also can be helpful to draw conceptual diagrams that demonstrate the flow of data into and out of the metadirectory based on the proposed dataflow model. These diagrams make it easier for other team members to understand the proposed designs and help eliminate misunderstandings between different teams during different phases of the design and planning process.


See Also


Dataflow Design Concepts
Filtering Metadirectory Dataflow
Design Constraints
Authority and Precedence
Process Steps for Designing the System Dataflow