CDX Mapper – is a rich graphical Data Mapping Tool that supports reading and mapping enterprise data resources to XML/NIEM Schema. This robust connector toolset provides drag-and-drop connections between data and schema, a rich library of transformation objects, data cleansing and normalization tools, all embedded in the integrated design environment of the CDX Mapper. CDX Mapper was first released into production in early 2004.
The process begins by loading the IEPD directly into the CDX Mapper. The loading process extracts the XML schema from the IEPD, parses them, and assembles them into the target for the mapping. The source system is loaded as well, by constructing an SQL query (if the source is a database) or populating logical business objects (if mapping from an XML data source such as a web service). The CDX Mapper shows the query results on the left side of the mapping palette, and the target schema on the right side.
Using the CDX Mapper drag-and-drop interface, a person familiar with the IEPD and the database to be integrated identifies relationships between fields in the database and tags in the schema. Source data (adhering to the previously developed schema) is simply dragged across the mapping pane (the center pane) and dropped on the target field. CDX Mapper provides the user with a clear view of both source and destination streamlining access to information regarding the exchange and increasing productivity of the exchange developer.
When data transformation needs to occur, the CDX platform’s transformation engine is used. The exchange developer is granted this level of granular access and control over the exchange operations through the Map Objects palette (the far left pane). Map Objects are functions that are defined in the transformation engine, and range from predefined operations (such as trimming white space, concatenating fields, re-formatting dates, converting between code lists and text descriptions, providing constant values, etc.) as well as general purpose objects that allow the user to add custom scripts. These objects have been developed by the Crossflo staff over years of practical experience developing and deploying data exchanges. The CDX Mapper not only makes the development of these exchanges substantially easier to deploy and maintain, it provides the customer a rich toolset directed at the data exchange problem. Typically, customer personnel will, with minimal training, be able to develop and maintain these and future data exchanges if there is a desire in the future to assume management.
Exchange Deployment & Management
Before exchanges are placed into production, testing is performed to ensure proper messaging. By virtue of the CDX architecture, this testing begins with a unit-test procedure that is isolated to each data source and target. The extraction of data and mapping to standard XML is performed locally at the data source network.
The exchange is initiated by hand to produce an XML payload which is transferred to a file. The results of this exchange can be validated against the schema, compared to the source records, and made available to domain experts of the source agency to validate the mapping.
Similarly, the payload can be transferred manually (via file copy, thumb drive, ftp, or email) to each of the target systems. Again, the exchange process can be run manually to ensure that data is ingested into the target systems properly. Once the individual pieces have been validated, then real-time tests are performed to ensure proper routing of the messages. In the end, a fully tested (validated) data exchange results.
Creating direct connections to the endpoints is the bulk of exchange configuration. However, when source systems providing data are protected behind a firewall or network security appliances, then a CDX Adapter is installed at the appropriate location.