Posted by Claus Jepsen
As the naming implies the Elastic Foundation provides configurability of the underlying data model. The majority of enterprise systems allow for a certain level of data object attribute enrichment by means of user-defined fields, which in People Platform terminology is referred to as Flexi-Fields. Typically user-definable fields support limited data types, and have a constraint in terms of the number of fields you can define per business object.
A more interesting and important capability of the Elastic Layer in the People Platform is the unique ability allowing for defining custom objects containing a variety of attributes, having these custom objects Relate to pre-defined business objects, by means of references. This highly versatile Extendibility capability surpasses the more traditional approach – enrichment through user definable fields – due to its near limitless enrichment of the pre-defined business objects. It is quite achievable, by means of the extendibility approach, to construct complete new object graphs accommodating very complex customizations or even complete adjunct solutions; requirement being that custom objects relates to some pre-defined business object.
Having highly configurable capabilities as an intrinsic part of the platform allows for higher-level functionality to consume customer defined objects and their attributes. An example of such utilization is workflow, that allows for construction of business processes relying on the configured custom objects. Another example is reporting, where reports can be designed using attributes defined on custom objects.