I was wondering if there was a reason for or against using precision in numeric surrogate keys in either a staging or presentation (star) environment in a data warehouse. We have Oracle 8i. One architect would prefer to make all surrogate keys type NUMBER (defaulting to 38), and the other would prefer to use NUMBER (precision) where the precision is equal to cardinality for static dimensions, and cardinality + 2 for growing dimensions. The first architect says there's no difference because Oracle will only store the precision necessary for any row, and the keys would be consistent. The second architect says that having precision will increase query performance. Oracle consulting recommended precision just for additional error checking. What’s your recommendation?

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