Data Fabric

What is a data fabric?

A data fabric is a conceptual or overarching architectural design being popularized by today’s data architects to help with overall data connectivity and enterprise data management.

A data fabric model is inherently structured to facilitate the coming together of various data environments through the use of a more holistic or unified architecture design. 

Data fabric as an architectural approach is really about simplification. A fabric model is designed to simplify data access in an organization allowing for easier self-service data access and consumption across the enterprise.

Seamless interaction and management of data across various systems and environments.

The goal of a data fabric is to provide a unified view of data, making it easily accessible and usable for various applications and users, including:

This architecture includes a combination of technologies and services that provide integrated and enhanced data, delivered to the appropriate consumer in the appropriate format and at the appropriate time, most often used for analytical purposes but these practices can also be expanded to operational data.

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Enabling Data Mesh Principles and a Data Fabric Foundation
Q&A Featuring Forrester
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Data Fabric In Action

A data fabric can be visualized as a seamless cloth, spread out across the enterprise, where users can access data from any location in real-time, without any limitations or constraints.

Using a data fabric also allows for more efficient data management and data processing as it allows for the automation of data access and transformation.

Adopting an operational data fabric architecture approach can bring several distinct advantages to an enterprise. 

Data fabrics become increasingly important as the volume and complexity of data continues to grow and businesses need more efficient and effective ways to manage and utilize their data.

Data must be easily accessible to those who need it, rather than being locked away or scattered in various locations.

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From Data Fabric to "Data Collaboration"
451 Research Report
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Data Collaboration Goes Beyond Data Fabric

Data Collaboration amplifies data management by utilizing an underlying data fabric approach and methodology with a re-definition and extension of the boundaries of how application and data interact.

A Data Collaboration Platform is inherently a network of data sets, organized through an operational data fabric approach. In this model, legacy apps can be connected to the “operational fabric,” liberating the data to then make it “autonomous” in nature.  Meaning the data on the network is now no longer in abeyance to one single application. It is now available to any application or person, to which access is granted.

Data Collaboration effectively makes complicated data challenges simpler. It eliminates the need for integration by enabling collaboration without the need to store data for each individual application, making it easier to access and change data from multiple sources with a single interface while also fully enabling self-service.

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“Data Collaboration actually acts as a data fabric for applications that are not natively built using the data set network in the place of an operational database. A traditional data fabric will always require applications to have their own databases that connect to the network, however, while dataware allows developers to build new applications without dedicated operational databases.”

Data Collaboration as an architecture design has several core components, including:

This allows for real-time and always-up-to-date access to all data on the network, regardless of where it is stored or how it is connected.

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Connected data without the effort, time, and cost of traditional data integration.