Informatica PowerCenter is not just a tool but an end-to-end data processing and data integration environment. It facilitates organizations to collect, centrally process and redistribute data. It can be used just to integrate two different systems like SAP and MQ Series or to load data warehouses or Operational Data Stores (ODS).
Now Informatica PowerCenter also includes many add-on tools to report the data being processed, business rules applied and quality of data before and after processing.
To facilitate this PowerCenter is divided into different components:
- PowerCenter Domain: As Informatica says “The Power Center domain is the primary unit for management and administration within PowerCenter”. Doesn’t make much sense? Right... So here is a simpler version. Power Center domain is the collection of all the servers required to support Power Center functionality. Each domain has gateway (called domain server) hosts. Whenever you want to use Power Center services you send a request to domain server. Based on request type it redirects your request to one of the Power Center services.
- PowerCenter Repository: Repository is nothing but a relational database which stores all the metadata created in Power Center. Whenever you develop mapping, session, workflow, execute them or do anything meaningful (literally), entries are made in the repository.
- Integration Service: Integration Service does all the real job. It extracts data from sources, processes it as per the business logic and loads data to targets.
- Repository Service: Repository Service is the one that understands content of the repository, fetches data from the repository and sends it back to the requesting components (mostly client tools and integration service)
- PowerCenter Client Tools: The PowerCenter Client consists of multiple tools. They are used to manage users, define sources and targets, build mappings and mapplets with the transformation logic, and create workflows to run the mapping logic. The PowerCenter Client connects to the repository through the Repository Service to fetch details. It connects to the Integration Service to start workflows. So essentially client tools are used to code and give instructions to PowerCenter servers.
- PowerCenter Administration Console: This is simply a web-based administration tool you can use to administer the PowerCenter installation.
There are some more not-so-essential-to-know components discussed below:
- Web Services Hub: Web Services Hub exposes PowerCenter functionality to external clients through web services.
- SAP BW Service: The SAP BW Service extracts data from and loads data to SAP BW.
- Data Analyzer: Data Analyzer is like a reporting layer to perform analytics on data warehouse or ODS data.
- Metadata Manager: Metadata Manager is a metadata management tool that you can use to browse and analyze metadata from disparate metadata repositories. It shows how the data is acquired, what business rules are applied and where data is populated in readable reports.
- PowerCenter Repository Reports: PowerCenter Repository Reports are a set of prepackaged Data Analyzer reports and dashboards to help you analyze and manage PowerCenter metadata.