Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hierarchy Manager in business applications

Manage a hierarchy is common seen in a business application. A hierarchy is a nature way to organize information. The file system organize the files by the tree like hierarchical structure. The Internet portal like Yahoo! started their business by providing the data structure in a tree like directory.

In business applications, the hierarchy is built for
  • summarizing
  • allocating
  • defaulting
  • looking up the business rules
Modeling the hierarchy in the data model and providing the tool to manage the hierarchy are thus required.

Here are some of commonly seen hierarchies within the enterprise applications:

  • organization hierarchy
  • GL account hierarchy
  • product hierarchy
  • calendar hierarchy
  • position/supervisor hierarchy
  • BOM
  • pricing rule
  • customer hierarchy
  • xx category hierarchy
It is worth to define common design patterns or approaches to handle this subject. It is actually possible to build the common tools or data model to support hierarchy.
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