Q: We are in the early design stage of a data warehouse. The general outline is a set of data marts loaded from an operational data store consisting of tables from a number of databases supporting administrative areas (e.g., HR, finance, contracts). Is there a best practice associated with the number of distinct databases that should be used in the overall warehouse? One group is arguing that everything (marts and ODS) should be in a single database. Another group is arguing that the marts and ODS should be in separate databases to allow tuning to support the different roles. What criteria are most important to consider in reaching a decision?

Sid Adelman's Answer : I wouldn't try to put everything in a single database. The database designs are different, the tuning choices based on the nature of the data, the volumes and on access would be different and, most importantly, the politics of getting everyone's concurrence is almost impossible. Keep them separate but this does not mean you couldn't have common subject areas that span multiple divisions such as customer and supplier.

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