Everyone complains about the legacy application systems environment. The state of affairs of the legacy application environment is so abysmal that many information system managers consider the legacy systems environment to be their number one problem. The legacy environment has been maintained to the point of being shopworn. The legacy systems environment reflects the business of yesterday. The legacy systems environment is built on technology best suited to yesterday's business problems. The legacy systems environment is terribly unintegrated. The legacy systems environment is built for the clerical community, and so forth.

One of the primary motivations of the ODS (operational data store) and the data warehouse environment is to come to grips with the inadequacies of the legacy systems environment. The ODS and the data warehouse provide a place where types of processing that cannot be accomplished in the legacy systems environment can occur. The net effect of the ODS and the data warehouse on the legacy systems environment is to "drain the swamp." By building the ODS and the data warehouse, data and processing are removed from the legacy systems environment which, over time, shrinks and simplifies.

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