Sample Term paper
Although the data engineering process can be characterized as mature it has been a research topic for decades now and there is an astonishing proliferation of methods and tools in this area – the same is not true for its processing counterpart. But the problem is not only difficult with old an ill-designed legacy applications but will still remain for a long time because it would be highly over-optimistic to conclude that, based on the available knowledge, the development of new applications would be done today in a systematic way which yields well-structured and comprehensively documented applications.
With respect to the data re-engineering problem, there are two main difficulties with legacy systems: the lack of complete and accurate documentation and the strong data dependency of these systems. Whereas it is widely accepted today that the design of data-intensive applications should yield data schemas on different layers of abstraction one can hardly find these design documents for legacy systems.
If they are available, they are most often incomplete and inaccurate. Another difficulty stems from the fact, that there is often a strong dependency between data and code in legacy systems. Data definitions, as well as data manipulation parts, are intermixed with procedural parts. With the advent of database management systems which support to a certain degree the independence of data from the applications, this situation became slightly better. Data-related problems can have three different causes:
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