The author would like to thank R. H. Terdeman for assisting with this month's column.

The corporate information factory (CIF) is the framework that describes modern corporate information systems. The center of the CIF is the data warehouse with its granular, integrated historical data. From the CIF flow many different architectural components such as the data marts, exploration warehouse, operational data store (ODS) and others. Figure 1 depicts the classical CIF.

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