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OLAP STAR schema

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

High Performance Data Warehousing

Data Warehouses And Multidimensional Databases  

When we contrast the data warehouse with a transaction-oriented, online system, the differences become apparent. These differences are shown in Table 1.1.

OLTP Data Warehouse
Normalization High (3NF) Low (1NF)
Table sizes Small Large
Number of rows/table Small Large
Size/duration of transactions Small Large
Number of online users High (1000s) Low (< 100)
Updates Frequent Nightly
Full-table scans Rarely Frequently
Historical data < 90 days Years

Table 1.1 Differences between OLTP and data warehouses.

Aside from the different uses for data warehouses, many developers are using relational databases to build their data warehouses and simulate multiple dimensions. Design techniques are being used for the simulations. This push toward STAR schema design has been somewhat successful, especially because designers do not have to buy a multidimensional database or invest in an expensive front-end tool. In general, using a relational database for OLAP is achieved by any combination of the following techniques:

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing", copyright 1997.
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