Building the Data Warehouse

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There is a second mitigating factor in the appeal of the structure seen in Figure 11.4. Often organizations build a data warehouse for their non-ERP data at the same time that the ERP environment is being established. By the time the ERP environment is complete (or at least functional), the non-ERP data warehouse is already established. When it comes time to put the ERP data in a data warehouse, it is a simple matter to take the ERP data out of the ERP environment and place it into the data warehouse.

But there is another alternative. Figure 11.5 shows that when the data warehouse is placed under the control of the ERP environment, external data can be placed into the data warehouse.

Figure 11.4 Both ERP and non-ERP operational systems support the non-ERP data warehouse.

DSS applications

data marts

exploration warehouse

Figure 11.5 Both ERP and non-ERP operational systems support the ERP-based data warehouse.

Once the non-ERP data is placed in the control of the data warehouse, the data can take advantage of all the infrastructure built by the ERP vendor. This approach is most advantageous when the ERP environment is built before any data warehouse is built.

Putting all of the data in the ERP-controlled data warehouse does not mean that all DSS processing done from the data warehouse must be done within the confines of the ERP data warehouse. ERP vendors go out of their way to put a robust amount of analytical processing inside the ERP environment, and that is one of the great appeals of a ERP data warehouse. There is nothing, however, that says that other DSS processing cannot be done outside the ERP data warehouse environment. Figure 11.6 shows that DSS processing that relies on the data warehouse can be done either within or outside the ERP environment (or, for that matter, in both the ERP and non-ERP environments.)

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