What tools support data warehouse-specific modeling techniques? When considering a data modeling tool for a warehouse-specific implementation, what techniques are needed and what features should we look for?
Chuck Kelley’s Answer: Any of the main modeling tools support data warehouse-specific modeling techniques. The ones that come to mind are ERwin (Computer Associates), System Architect (Popkin), PowerDesigner (Sybase) and Oracle Designer (Oracle).
Les Barbusinski’s Answer: The only additional data modeling technique that data warehousing utilizes that is not used in modeling other types of systems is dimensional modeling (i.e., the graphic depiction of fact and dimension tables in star schema and snowflake arrangements). To my knowledge, only two data modeling tools support this: CA ERwin and Sybase PowerDesigner. However, this should not be a limiting factor in your choice of modeling tool, because this capability though convenient frequently limits flexibility. For example, the tool may not allow you to copy tables from a dimensional schema into a non-dimensional schema even if the target database is the same. In other words, having a dimensional modeling capability in the tool is not a big deal. You can achieve much the same results in your data model without using the dimensional modeling capability.
Other capabilities are much more important in a good data modeling tool. These include the following:
The three most widely used data modeling tools ERwin, PowerDesigner and Embarcadero’s ER/Studio all have these capabilities to some degree. It’s up to you to choose the one that best meets your needs. Hope this helps.
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