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These days there is a lot of noise in the media about ERP vendors' DW strategies.

  • October 01 1999, 1:00am EDT


These days there is a lot of noise in the media about ERP vendors' DW strategies. I'm involved in a project for recommending a DW implementation plan including tool selection for ETL, user access, etc. One of the sources is SAP, and we are considering SAP BW and the tool kit for building the DW. How you measure SAP's solution against other more "traditional" tools?


Douglas Hackney's Answer: The big issue you'll get into with the packaged DW's is that the architecture will be theirs, not yours, so you'll face some integration challenges. The future model of data warehousing is one of a variety of federated systems. It makes sense to buy packaged when you can get a reasonable "out of the box" experience and have a quick-hit implementation. The challenge is to integrate all of the turn-key packages together into a federated environment so you aren't just creating further information silos. Don't fall for the dream of homogeneity, like many other grand schemes of data warehousing it is great in theory and totally lacking in reality. You will be living with a heterogeneous environment for the foreseeable future. The biggest challenges will be semantic and business rule consensus.

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