TM1 Rules vs. TI Process
To use rules or not to use rules can often times can be a subject of great debate in a TM1 implementation. First off, lets define a rule and a Turbo Integrator Process (TI Process) for you.
A rule is a definition in your TM1 model that defines how data in a cube is calculated or how data flows from one cube to another. For example, you may have a rule in your system that defines Total Income as Revenue – Expense. Or you may have rules that define the mapping and flow of data in your system from your input cubes to your reporting cubes. The great things about rules is that they are evaluated real time in your system and provide you with that “Real-time reporting” between Cognos TM1 and Cognos BI. The downside with rules is that they put stress on your system and take time to evaluate. If you have very large models and require lots of calculations, data transformations, allocations, etc. then rules are not always the right fit.
Similar to a rule a TI process allows data in a cube to be calculated, transformed, or passed from cube to cube. The difference is that a TI process is not always being evaluated behind the scenes a TM1. A TI process has to be run whether it is scheduled or manually executed for the effects of it to take place in your system. TI processes are advantageous when using large amounts of data and when complex calculations or data transformations are required. The use of TI processes can provide “near real-time reporting” and they statically write the data to your cubes vs. having the data in your cubes being dynamically written and continually evaluated by TM1.
Which Should you Use?
So, for your solution, how much should rules be relied upon in your system to get you that “real-time” reporting? The answer is it Depends! It depends on the volume of data, it depends on the power of your servers, it depends on the complexity of your calucations, etc. I think you get the point. A good consultant should be able to evaluate all of these factors and provide you with professional guidance on what the best solution for your needs are. If you ever hear someone say they can guarantee you with “real-time” analysis without knowing anything about your requirements please take it with a grain of salt.
If the design of your solution is something that you are currently evaluating please contact BEM Partners so that we can help you make the right decision.