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I am working on a data warehouse design and the client needs real-time updates in the DW/DM from a one-source system.

By
  • Sid Adelman, Chuck Kelley
Published
  • August 01 2000, 1:00am EDT

Q:  

I am working on a data warehouse design and the client needs real-time updates in the data warehouse/data mart from a one-source system. The data specific to this source comes from that source alone. Any ideas on how to accomplish the real-time update in the DSS environment?

A:  

Chuck Kelley's Answer: This is the classic "I want a data warehouse that has real-time updates" dilemma. The real issue (at least the ones that I see most often) is that the business community is saying that the current operational systems are not meeting their needs. Then they hear about data warehouses and want to modify its concept to solve their real problem. Many of my clients said they wanted a data warehouse, but it was clear they were looking for an operational data store (ODS). Bill Inmon and Claudia Imhoff have written a very good book on the ODS (John Wiley and Sons). I would first look at solving this operational issue while/before working on the strategic (DW/DM) issues. The ODS will be a great feed for you DW/DM.

Sid Adelman's Answer: The data warehouse/data mart is for tactical and strategic decisions. If you have a real-time requirement, it is not DSS - it is operational! Operational systems have much different characteristics, designs and requirements than those of DSS. The architecture is different. If you try to develop a design that will satisfy both, it will be like those vehicles called car-boats. They could be driven on the highways and could also go into the water. This vehicle was a terrible car and a worse boat (most were swamped with the first small wave). Your system will also be swamped with poor performance, inability to satisfy requests and inability to expand.

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