Database performance seems to be the "black box" of business applications. When discussing the topic of application performance, you invariably hear: "Well, it's been in production for almost three years!"

Data warehouses are instrumental in the consolidation of business information across the enterprise, allowing information sharing and providing for decision support. The performance and availability of the underlying database is critical to the productivity and efficiency of the business personnel and applications that access it. This is also true for operational databases across the organization. One of the major benefits of using a data warehouse in an open systems environment is the ability to integrate both homegrown and third-party application information into the enterprise automation scheme. As applications grow and the number of users and amount of data increase, it is critical that a database continues to be tuned for optimum performance.

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