Question: Data level integration falls into two major categories: real time and staging. Which one is generally a better approach for enterprise-class software? If you choose real time, how do you deal with scalability issues and overload of application server? If you choose staging, how do you deal with synchronization, especially the lag in data updates? Is there a way to have the best of both worlds?

Chuck Kelley's Answer: First, I am not a big fan of the real-time data warehouse although I am starting to change my opinion (it will still take more time!). You have picked two good points to list here which needs to be taken into consideration when making the decision. However, I believe that you need to understand what the business requirement is. Do they need (really!) real-time analysis or are they looking to use the data warehouse/data integration to get a new transaction system that they believe they need? Or do they really need real-time analysis? I happen the think that synchronization is less of an issue that scalability/overload, but I am sure others will disagree.

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