Building the Data Warehouse

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It is very good news indeed that migrating to the architected data warehouse environment is a step-by-step activity that is accomplished one finite deliverable at a time. The most successful implementations of the architected environment have been those in which the data warehouse has been built one iteration at a time. In doing so, the data warehouse can be built for a minimum of employee resources and with absolutely minimal disruption to the existing applications environment. Both the size and the speed of iterative development are important. Results must be delivered quickly.

In this chapter, a generic migration plan and a methodology for development are discussed. The methodology is described in detail in the appendix. The migration plan has been successfully followed by a wide number of companies; it is anything but a fanciful flight. The approach has been gleaned from the experiences of a number of companies. Of course, each company will have its own diversions and permutations. But the migration plan and approach have met with enough success in enough diverse companies to merit the confidence of the general-purpose developer.

A Migration Plan

The beginning point for the migration plan is a corporate data model. This model represents the information needs of the corporation. Keep in mind that it represents what the corporation needs, not necessarily what it currently has. In addition, it is built with no consideration of technology.

The corporate data model may be built internally, or it may have been generated from a generic data model. The corporate data model needs to identify (at a minimum!) the following:

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