Modules are an unit of data that focus on a single subject with a defined SLA (Service Level Agreement), that is coherent at any time with himself.

The main idea for module came from a blogpost of mine in 2013 arguing that modules bring agility which was later extended in a Agile Data Warehouse Manifesto.

There is three categories of modules :

  • Integration module : A module that duplicate an external data source (staging) or keep and archive of it. See replication modules

  • Refinement module : A module that blend integration modules and/or add business rules. See replication modules

  • Presentation module : A module with refined data to be consumed by end users (business analysts).

Physically, each module is stored in a specific schema of a database or a repertory in a case of a data lake.

Each module is attached to a datastore (usually the datawarehouse or a data lake) which need to be specified with the attribute datastore. It is composed by tables which contains a source element describing how such tables must be constructed.

By default, each table is recomputed from scratch. Nevertheless, more update strategies are available using the strategy element. Namely, using the overwrite strategy, existing data is merged with the result of the source element using the businessKey attribute as a row identification.

<!-- Module that replicate the web datastore inside the datawarehouse -->
<datastore name="staging" datastore="dw">
  <replicate datastore="web">

<!-- A module that keep track of all sessions data -->
<datastore name="archive" datastore="dw">
  <!-- There will be a row per combination of (date, country) values.
    The last seen value will be used.
    Notice that staging.sessions shouldn't have two rows with the same
    date and country combination. -->
  <table name="sessions" strategy="overwrite" businessKey="date,country">
    <source type="module" module="staging" table="sessions">

<!-- A module on top of sessions data.
  Notice that this module is recomputed at every run.
  Therefore you can make change without fear of all data -->
<datastore name="business" datastore="dw">
  <table name="sessions">
    <source type="query">
      <!-- probably a more complex query -->
      select * from archive