The CIF Evolution
by Bill Inmon
Originally published October 27, 2004
First there were operational, transaction processing systems. Then there was a data warehouse. Next came ETL, followed by data marts.
In the early days, the Corporate Information Factory (CIF) was developed to make sense of the architectural components. At first it was simple. It was just a few of these components strung together in a logical way. That was back in the early 1990s. Since then the logical or conceptual CIF, like the rest of technology, has evolved.
Ever since Claudia Imhoff and I sat down and tried to make sense of what was going on in the mid-1990s, there has been a formal CIF. In some cases, we presented the CIF as part of a seminar or a class. In other cases, we wrote a book on the subject. Sometimes we did a wall chart that appeared as an insert in a magazine. And in every case, the CIF grew in order to reflect changing times and the evolution of technology. However, it was still a logical or conceptual view of what the BI architecture should emulate. The CIF is a dynamic concept that changes with the times. In fact, over time different logical components are added to the CIF. To date, we have not removed a component nor have we changed the positioning of a component.
It is important to note that how you physically implement the CIF is up to you and the technological environment you develop. Every now and then, a new technology comes along that alters the perception of the physical version of the CIF. It is with this in mind that we present this physical version of the CIF through the sponsorship of CenterBoard and the B-EYE-Network.
As is the norm, the logical or conceptual CIF remains the same. This is good because the reliability of the CIF represents a certain amount of stability in our industry. But there are some important new additions to the physical version of the CIF, which include:
So that’s it. Those are the new technological additions to consider in implementing the CIF. Now the technology supporting the CIF is even more encompassing and up-to-date.
SOURCE: The CIF Evolution
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