This chapter introduced some of the information management challenges an organization faces. Their applications provide the information processes that drive the business. These processes need access to a variety of information to perform their function. This information is distributed and duplicated among the applications and the challenge is to keep this information synchronized while ensuring it is available and suitably structured for all of the organization’s needs.
This chapter also introduced the patterns of information management. The patterns of information management are a collection of software design patterns that describe best practices for blending software components together to manage the typical information management challenges that organizations face. These patterns each have a succinct name and icon for use in design discussions. Each pattern also has a tabulated short description called a patlet and a full description that explains when to use it, how it works, and the consequences of using it.
Throughout the pattern language, this book uses a fictitious company called MCHS Trading to illustrate the use of the patterns. The patterns are also grouped together around particular information management topics called pattern groups. Each pattern group has a lead pattern that describes the basic mechanism at work and the rest of the patterns in the group are variations of this basic pattern.
The first lead pattern for a pattern group that was introduced was information provisioning. This explained the layers of components used to provide information to the organization. We then went on to explain how the pattern language is structured and where each of the pattern groups are located in the book.
Now that you have seen the pattern groups in the pattern language, you can choose to navigate directly to the patterns of interest. Alternatively, Chapter 2 describes how MCHS Trading used the patterns to transform its information systems through a series of projects.