Many line of business applications store their production data in an underlying relational database. These types of databases can have numerous tables and views, complex relationships between parent and child references and they may have business logic which dictates how they operate. To the users of these systems there is a wealth of information stored within but they need technologies which give them easy access to this information without having to understand these complexities.

To assist the users in accessing these application databases, SharperLight uses an abstraction layer called a Datamodel to hold the query logic and it presents to the end-user a unified query layer. The Datamodel insulates the information consumers from the underlying database complexities but it also provides a scalable framework for building a simple reporting layer that can then grow into a comprehensive reporting platform.

The development of a Datamodel can be extremely quick and it can provide immediate business value. The secret to creating a successful Datamodel is to iteratively expose more functionality based on end-user feedback.

I have used to Studio to create a working datamodel in less than 15 minutes. From that point, I continued to extend the Custom datamodel to develop production level reports.