Link Explorer integration covers several areas from developing a suitable data model for analysis, through defining data feeds from various sources.
Customizing Link Explorer behaviour via its API, sharing data with other systems and integration with core business processes. Link Explorer has a range of features and options to cover these requirements.
Link Explorer Integrated Analytics – Link DesignerXanalys Link Designer is a modelling tool that enables a user to create an object model or “template” which is customized to a particular domain and/or data model.
Standard Link Explorer is distributed with a number of templates which support analysis in many common domains. However, if an organization has specific requirements associated with a particular domain or data source then a specific template can be created using Link Designer
The template definition includes:
The set of objects and links available for analysis in the users’ domain. This is the object model of the domain. It defines the detailed attributes of the various objects and links.
The data model of the underlying data source. This is the data model of the repository of the domain information and the target of Link Explorer’s analytical queries.
The mapping between the data model and the object model. This model is used by Link Explorer to execute queries against a data source and create the object and links for analysis and visualization.
The rules and style settings used to display objects and links using the powerful visualization features available in Link Explorer. This is the presentation model and it defines the icons, labels, photographs, colors, and shapes etc. which are used to present information in the various Link Explorer charts.
Flexible Data Importer
The Flexible Data Importer (FDI) is a data import and integration tool that uses advanced Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) techniques to collect data from various sources and collate it into a common analytical model.
The FDI takes data from external sources including existing databases, Excel spreadsheets, XML, CSV files and moves it into the analytical database, transforming it into the Link Explorer model of objects and links as it does so.
At the same time as it transforms and loads the external data, the FDI also handles the identification of matching data and automatically applies a range of unification actions to handle these matches.
The FDI is a flexible ETL engine that is configured to perform specific data import tasks. The configuration includes:
Defining the location and access to an external data source Instructions to transform the source data into Link Explorer objects and links Rules to identify objects already in the analysis database Unification actions to handle the data matches that are found.
Even with all this flexibility, the FDI can be a configured via a simple data import wizard. However for more advanced ETL operations and complex matching and unification the FDI can use a powerful scripting language. Once these scripts are constructed they can be used by standard Link Explorer across the organization.
Sharing Data with Standard Tools
Link Explorer can share data with Microsoft Excel. Data from any chart can be exported to Excel, manipulated in Excel and returned to Link Explorer. New data can be imported directly from Excel spreadsheets. A Xanalys Excel Add-In provides a Link Explorer toolbar/ribbon in Microsoft Excel which allows you to create Link Explorer charts directly from Excel.
Integration with Microsoft Bing Maps supports geocoding of address data and creates pin-point Maps directly from Link Explorer or Excel. A Link Explorer extension for ESRI ArcGIS allows you to combine GIS analysis with Link Explorer’s analysis and visualization.
Link Explorer comes with a comprehensive Application Programming Interface (API) based on Microsoft’s standard Component Object Model (COM) technology. The API supports the development of close, custom integrations between Link Explorer and other critical business systems. This integration allows data analysis with Link Explorer to fit seamlessly into existing business processes. Typical scenarios include:
Automated data feeds from business data sources to analytical systems. Pushing data analysis results into downstream systems such as incident and investigation management. Building data bridges to other 3rd party tools.Customizing and extending the Link explorer user interface.