There is a radical movement taking shape in the IT industry. The vanguard of this movement is made up of experienced data warehouse practitioners. These individuals, having seen firsthand the benefits provided by a well-designed data warehouse, have come to believe that the current development process is fundamentally flawed. In fact, they've begun to argue that the current practice is completely backward! To better understand this radical notion, it's necessary to examine the history of decision support technology.

During the 1980s, the relational database came of age. Several of today's largest and most successful corporations were built around relational database SQL (Structured Query Language). Initially, these newcomers focused on transaction processing. They understood very clearly that market acceptance of relational technology depended on its ability to displace mainframe-based transaction-processing systems. If they could successfully open up the OLTP market for their products, financial success would follow.

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