Every now and then, an old idea resurfaces. In this case, the idea is that there is something real known as a virtual data warehouse. Why this idea did not die a natural death long ago is a mystery. With a virtual data warehouse, you don't have to go through all the hard work of integrating data, rummaging around old files and trying to understand what some programmer back in the 1960s had in mind. You don't need to take up space with replicated data. What a lovely idea. You just string some files together and access them as if they were a data warehouse. There is no need for the hard stuff that goes with a real data warehouse. However, there also is an old saying: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

In truth, there are many very fundamental reasons why a virtual data warehouse is a myth, not a reality.

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