APPENDIX C

GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING VENDOR SOLUTIONS

Here are a few practical guidelines. These are general guidelines relating to all types of products that perform various functions, from data extraction through information delivery. Adapt and apply these to your specific environment.

  • First and foremost, determine the functions in your data warehouse that absolutely need vendor tools and solutions.
  • For each type of product you need, carefully list the features that are expected. Divide the features into groups by importance—high, medium, and low. Use these groups of features to grade the products you are considering.
  • Allocate enough time to research available solutions and vendors thoroughly.
  • If you try to incorporate solutions from too many different vendors, you must be prepared to face serious challenges of incompatibilities and restrictions for integration. Stay with two or three vendors whose products are most appropriate for your needs.
  • Metadata is a key component of a data warehouse. Ensure that the vendor products you choose can handle metadata satisfactorily.
  • The standing and stability of the vendor are equally important as the effectiveness of the products themselves. Even when the products are suitable for your environment, if you are concerned about the staying power of the vendor, have second thoughts on selecting these products.
  • Never rely solely on vendor demonstrations as the basis for your selection, nor should you check only the references furnished by the ...

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