Are you moving to Azure? Don’t leave your lineage behind. Read this!

January 27, 2023
Are you moving to Azure? Don’t leave your lineage behind. Read this!

Q&A with MANTA SVP Ernie Ostic.

As a data lineage expert, what are your thoughts as you see companies moving to Azure and Purview?

Well, it helps to first look at what they think Purview is and how they will use it to accomplish their tasks. It’s Microsoft’s play in the catalog and metadata inventory space. Microsoft’s Intelligent Data Platform (or IDP – featuring everything already available in Azure) has all kinds of Microsoft tools and resources. But it comes down to – “where do I find the information I need?”

And this is fine if a company wants Purview, and they have nothing in the legacy space. But Purview doesn’t have the ability to address companies that have tons of stuff still sitting in their mainframe, sitting in Informatica, sitting in on-premises in Oracle, in their own SQL Server, stuff that’s local. Purview doesn’t have the ability to talk to all of that. It’s those customers that have the rich end-to-end legacy systems that need lineage, and MANTA and Prolifics can help them.

Together, Prolifics and MANTA are an aggregator of valuable metadata. So, for those customers that have valuable metadata and want Purview as their catalog of the future – they can’t complete the picture. They’ll still have missing data and holes if they don’t use MANTA and Prolifics. Our joint expertise provides that customer with the full benefits of adopting Purview.

Microsoft’s Azure is a cloud computing platform with products and services to build, run, and manage applications across clouds, on-prem, and at the edge. Microsoft’s Purview provides a unified data governance solution to help manage and govern your on-premises, multicloud, and software as a service (SaaS) data.

We’re using terms like “metadata” and “legacy systems.” How do you discuss the idea of “lineage” with non-technical people, as well as the Connector itself?

If I’m talking to a business-type user or a manager, I want them to appreciate why lineage is important. For example, you want to understand where the info for your reports came from, right? You’re a manager, you’ve got people screaming at you saying, “I need to know exactly how this particular value was calculated in the report on this spreadsheet, because I don’t know where it came from.” And so that’s the reason that lineage is important. The Purview website itself talks extensively about why lineage is so important.

But business users also need to understand that while lineage is a part of Purview, Microsoft’s list of built-in connectors is only just so big and it’s mostly stuff that’s in Azure (IDP). This makes sense – that’s their platform, so they support those things. However, there’s a quandary now. How do I get non-Azure offerings into Purview for lineage?

Because what if the info for your reports is not coming from Azure, it’s coming from data that is sitting in some other legacy system. Don’t you want that info coming from the same Purview environment? You want to see that lineage in the same place, otherwise all you have is another silo of metadata.

So, why omit the critical systems that you do care about that are on your existing on-premises platforms? You don’t want to ignore those, right? You still want the lineage and the metadata benefit from those. Why only be focused on what Azure can support for you right now? And that’s the reason you want our Connector.

MANTA is a world-class data lineage platform that helps fix data blind spots and offers a line of sight into your data environment. With MANTA, everyone gets full visibility and control of their data pipeline – resulting in data-driven strategies and highly informed decision-making. 

Purview is described as a data governance solution. Talk to us about governance.

Governance is not easy. You need a methodology and approach and a strategy to get it right. And lineage is just one piece of the major puzzle that is governance. I’ve always positioned governance to be part of a three-legged stool. You have to have a common understanding of the data and the metadata that you have – glossaries of what specific terms, numbers, and events exactly mean. You have to have a very, very astute awareness of data quality – it’s a huge part of governance. And you need lineage. It needs to come together, and if you don’t have one of those legs, you’re done. Now, MANTA offers the lineage leg extremely powerfully, but you got to have all three. And to me, that’s the magic elixir that Prolifics brings to the table with the deep expertise that has been in your core competency for so long.

The long-term assistance that’s needed in governance – that’s Prolifics’ expertise. Governance is not something that you just click on a tool and it’s one and done. And I think that’s why our partnership is so valuable. I think that’s a key reason it works because Prolifics has the detailed data integration and governance expertise that these customers need.

Prolifics advises on, implements, and supports solutions for data modernization and data governance. Their expertise comes from hundreds of successful projects for organizations of all sizes across multiple industries.

MANTA and Prolifics are recruiting organizations to be Connector beta companies. What are you looking for?

We definitely want to understand how serious they are about Purview. We’d ask:

  • Are you committed to Purview?
  • Where are you in the installation process – is it installed already?
  • What type of legacy platforms do you have?

If they’re really interested in adopting Purview and have the “classic technologies” that MANTA and Prolifics handle so well together – there you go. That’s a big “yes” to pursue a beta implementation.