In Informatica, the best practice is any object used in more than one folder should be created as a shortcut.
A Shortcut is a pointer to where the “real” object resides. In terms of object orientation, it is the first level of inheritance.
Source tables, target tables, transformations, and mappings are all objects that may leverage shortcuts. Once a shortcut is established, changes are allowed only to the object in its original location.
The locations of the shortcut are read-only.
In order to create a shortcut Source folder must be shared folder and destination folder must be opened, otherwise it creates a copy instead of shortcut. Once we opened shared source folder, we just need to drag the corresponding object to the current workspace. In below screenshot, Target definition is being dragged to target workspace.
Shortcuts to folders in the same repository are known as local shortcuts.
Shortcuts to the global repository are called global shortcuts.
You can differentiate the shortcuts vs original objects by looking at the symbol. In below example, ‘Shortcut_to_StudentN’ target is a shortcut and rest all are normal target definitions.
Advantages of shortcuts:
- One of the primary reasons is that the shortcuts can be used anywhere in the repository, which will be pointing to the actual transformation which are developed in transformation developer (as reusable transformations).
- Another common use case where we find shortcuts more useful is, if we are using multiple copies of an object in different mappings and if we need to modify the object like changing data type or length etc., we need to edit each copy of the object to obtain the same results but if we have a shortcut to that object, all shortcuts immediately inherit the changes we make to the original object.
- When the object the shortcut references changes, the shortcut inherits those changes. By using a shortcut instead of a copy, you ensure each use of the shortcut matches the original object. For example, if you have a shortcut to a target definition, and you add a column to the definition, the shortcut inherits the additional column.
- We can restrict the users to incorporate the shortcuts instead of developing their own objects independently, which will create an overhead of confusion over a period of time for the developers.
- Repository’s database space can be reused by using shortcuts to an object instead of creating multiple copies in different folders/repositories.