07-08-2013 10:34 AM
I'm attempting to find a method of generating custom metadata reports in DI. I used the standard "out-of-the-box" and it is it a nice feature. However, I would like to have a drill down capability to column level where you could see properties associated with the column. The idea to it utilize metadata as an actual data dictionary.
I've been doing some research regarding this functionality and I understand that you can write Java plugin to enhance current report.
Wondering if SAS has custom plugins already created to provide such functionality or if there's an easier way to do it without the need to use Java.
I guess proc metatdata with custom html could replicate the plug in.
07-09-2013 09:03 AM
I don't know if you've seen it but there's an interesting SAS Global Forum 2012 Paper on the topic of DI studio reporting plug-ins: Developing Custom Metadata Reports for SAS® Data Integration Studio by Michael Kilhullen.
My company has written some plug-ins and applications using the SAS metadata and plug-in APIs. You can see some examples of the types of things we've done here and here. We primarily use the Java APIs.
You don't necessarily have to write custom applications for querying metadata in Java. If you're a C# or VB programmer you can also the .NET APIs and write custom tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide or maybe a full blown standalone application. Chris Hemedinger wrote a great book on this (and several blog posts too). I found Chris' book very helpful when I built a basic custom task for finding tables and columns in metadata - there's a little more info in a blog post I did at the time.
There are lots of different pathways for getting the metadata out and making it available, so you can pick the one that best suits your requirements and skills. Personally I prefer using Java (or .NET) for plug-ins, tasks and applications for the very rich and integrated user interface possibilities they afford, but you can also achieve a lot by using proc metadata (or the data step functions) in SAS Stored Processes too. You'll also want to study the extensive documentation on the SAS metadata model too (if you haven't already)
I hope this helps.
07-09-2013 04:48 PM
Thanks for your reply.
I have been looking at your company's plug-in the past and it looks quite useful. Thanks for the info and Chris' blog, I'll have a look at it,
The issue that we foresee is the need for in house expertise to develop and maintain third party code for the purpose of reporting on metadata.
I've been looking at sas metatdata datastep functions and proc metatdata and it appears that we can achieve similar results using BASE, therefore it would seem like a logical solution going forward.
It would be great if SAS developed more detailed reports for the next release of DI to allow more flexibility and depth. We'll add it to our wish list.