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SQL Server Data Warehouse Cribsheet

One of the primary components in a SQL Server business intelligence (BI) solution is the data warehouse. Indeed, the data warehouse is, in a sense, the glue that holds the system together. The warehouse acts as a central repository for heterogeneous data that is to be used for purposes of analysis and reporting.

Because of the essential role that the data warehouse plays in a BI solution, it’s important to understand the fundamental concepts related to data warehousing if you’re working with such a solution, even if you’re not directly responsible for the data warehouse itself. To this end, the article provides a basic overview of what a data warehouse is and how it fits into a relational database management system (RDBMS) such as SQL Server. The article then describes database modelling concepts and the components that make up the model, and concludes with an overview of how the warehouse is integrated with other components in the SQL Server suite of BI tools.

Note: The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of data warehouse concepts. It is not meant as a recommendation for any specific design. In addition, the article assumes that you have a basic understanding of relational database concepts such as normalization and referential integrity. In addition, the examples used in here tend to be specific to SQL Server 2005 and 2008, although the underlying principles can apply to any RDBMS.



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