This article is excerpted from Business Intelligence Roadmap: The Complete Project Lifecycle for Decision-Support Applications (Addison- Wesley, 2003). All material is copyrighted by Larissa Moss, Shaku Atre and Addison-Wesley.

An enterprise infrastructure is to business intelligence (BI) applications what a transportation infrastructure is to automobile owners. In order to safely and comfortably travel with an automobile, there must be a physical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, traffic lights and traffic signs, as well as nonphysical infrastructure, such as standardized traffic rules and their interpretation. For example, without the universal interpretation of the rules "green means go" and "red means stop," traffic lights would be of no use. Similarly, an enterprise infrastructure consists of two major components:

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