Data-centric Architecture Forum

Data-centric Architecture Forum

Fort Collins, CO | February 3-5, 2020

February 2019 we hosted the inaugural Data-Centric Conference where we started a profound conversation about the exploding costs of enterprise systems, discussed strategies to reverse the application-centric mindset, and committed to move the needle in the right direction forging data-centric projects going forward. We are very pleased to announce we'll do this again February 2020 as the Data-centric Architecture Forum. The theme of next year's forum will be experience reports on attempting to implement portions of the architecture. Join us and our mission to get more people involved and skilled in data-centricity. Here's a quick summary of our 2019 event to give you an idea of what to expect.

Hold the date, and save some money: Super Early Bird Discount of $300 off if you register by June 30, 2019!

$375 $575

This is going to be an intimate get together for practitioners who are interested in helping shape the nascent Data-centric Revolution (check out and sign our data-centric manifesto). There will be a few dozen attendees and a handful of vendors offering solutions that look to be of interest to this community.

The Data-centric Revolution recognizes that the predominant approach to implementing enterprise applications (the “application-centric” approach) is badly broken.  Several practitioners came together 18 months ago and founded the “Estes Park Group”, which has been meeting on a monthly basis since then to begin to put some flesh on the skeleton of an approach we’ve outlined.  We also sponsored the data-centric track at the Data Architecture Summit in Chicago last October.

We know of a handful of firms that have adopted something very close to what we have outlined.  We will be exploring what worked and didn’t work with them.  We are inviting vendors that have key parts of the puzzle.  Our collective opinion at the moment is that a fully functioning data-centric architecture, available for purchase, does not exist.  We will be outlining what companies will do in the short term to fill this void, and hopefully we can encourage some vendors to take up the task of delivering such an architecture.

The format will be highly interactive; primarily panel discussions with much input from the audience and short vendor demos.  With the size of the conference, pretty much all attendees will have the opportunity to be on at least one panel.  After you have registered, contact us to find out which panels still have availability.  This will be on a first come, first served basis, so book early to get your choice.

Note: there will not be any free passes for presenters (as virtually everyone will have a chance to present), and the fee was set low to just cover the venue and food.

Monday AM

  • Data-centric Architecture Straw Man Presentation – We have outlined what we believe to be the key components a system must handle at the architectural level (these are mostly concerns that are currently implemented repeatedly and inconsistently at the application-layer now).
  • Panel on the State of the DCA Industry (Panel) – Panelists will kick off with a few prepared remarks on their opinions of the current state of the industry.  We'll shift into a moderated audience driven Q&A.  The intent is to prepare a shared statement in consensus with the attendees on the current state, challenges, problems to be solved, and the like.

Monday PM

  • The Business Case for DCA (Panel) – This session will attempt to construct a template, spreadsheet or document that can be used to help sponsors of a DCA lay out the case in business terms.
  • Low Code / No code – We have observed that many of the extant data-centric implementations have relied on model-driven development, or what Gartner calls “low code / no code” environments.  We plan to have three vendors each present 20 minute sessions on their offerings in this area.

Tuesday AM

  • Metadata Management in DCA (Panel) – Some of the DCA environments we have seen are primarily metadata management environments, and all DCA has an important metadata component.  This will be a moderated panel discussion with potential demos of different approaches to managing metadata in a DCA style environment.
  • Security (Panel) – Virtually everyone we’ve surveyed agrees that security is one of the key issues for this type of architecture.  As we shift the focus of control for authorization from the application to the architecture there will be some profound changes.  We will have a combination of demos followed by interactive discussion of approaches to this key part of the architecture.

Tuesday PM

  • Case Studies –There are existing Data Centric Architectures out there that we can learn from.  This session will be a presentation of key architecture issues, demos, and Q&A.
  • Knowledge Graphs and Graph Databases  – Many of the data-centric solutions developed to data have been based on graph databases and/or knowledge graphs.  While this is not essential, we plan to explore this, along with demos of vendor products.

Wednesday AM

  • Implementation Strategies (Panel) – How to get from application-centric to data-centric.  We know it can’t be done in a “big bang”, so this session will be a panel discussion of pros and cons of viable strategies.
  • Governance (Panel) – It is expected that data-centric architectures will have two characteristics that raise the bar for governance: there will be a much higher rate of sharing of information as well as models, which increases the coordination costs, and at the same time one of the goals is to create architectures that are easier to change, therefore increasing the velocity of change.  This session will explore ways for attacking these twin challenges.

From this simple beginning we believe some of the more profound changes ever to occur to Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Application space will bloom. Become part of something big.

Come for the conference, stay for the winter sports.

Check out our recent blog post about the DCC!