Question: We want to implement a DW. Which tools and database should we select? Please compare Teradata with ORACLE and its tools for DW.


Sid Adelman’s Answer: You first must determine which category of tools you need. You will need at least need an RDBMS (Oracle, DB2, Teradata), and an access and analysis tool (Brio, Business Objects, Cognos). ETL tools can be very useful if implemented correctly. Be sure to also get measurement tools that will tell you about response time, usage and resources used. Your decision between Oracle and Teradata (are these the only two you are considering?) should be based on your performance requirements, your budget, your skills and your existing software. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Be sure to look at the productivity of administering each of these products and consider the total cost of ownership as well.

Scott Howard’s Answer: Before you even consider tools and an RDBMS, what we call the DW technical architectural dimension, you need to figure out what you are doing and why you are doing it. What are your BI requirements? What type of DW architecture are you building? Who is your user community and what are their analysis patterns and needs? What is their business process model and data sourcing requirements? Only when this is established and understood can you objectively analyze the tools and systems best meant for this task you have identified. You can't evaluate the appropriate solution unless you clearly see the problem that it's meant to solve. Features and functions are meaningless unless they directly apply to your problem.

Is there a reason that you are limiting yourself to Teradata and Oracle? Neither is actually the most successful and capable for DW implementations. However, as I just stated, this discussion may be premature until your needs are clearly understood.

Mike Jennings’ Answer: I would look at support of the two databases by the various data modeling, ETL, data profiling, data quality and reporting tool vendors your interested in. Are these databases currently treated as first tier support by the other vendors. When new releases of a vendor product become GA, are these databases supported or are they supported in subsequent releases? How well do these vendors scale in your existing environments? Depending on the size of the DW, some DBMSs require different hardware in order to scale (above the .5 TB range).

Chuck Kelley’s Answer: The first question that needs to be answered is "What are you trying to do with the DW" not "What tools and database do we select?" Until you know what you are going to be doing with the data warehouse, buying tools will be a grasp. Trust me – I can point to many companies that have done this. Go back and figure what are the requirements for the 1) the ETL process, 2) the database functionality, 3) the user presentation and usability, 4) how will we capture and display the meta data and 5) how well these tools will fit in my current environment? Once that has been defined, the tools and database selection will be easy.

Clay Rehm’s Answer: The answer depends on the existing standards, hardware, software and networks in your organization. This answer also depends on your budget, how much data will be moved and stored, and how frequently it will move to the data warehouse. It will also depend on the political motivations of the people in charge and what personal preferences they have.

You MUST perform an assessment of all the tools and technologies needed, why a data warehouse is needed, what problems will be solved, an inventory of existing technologies, applications and processes, and much more.

It does not make sense to jump to a decision that it either has to be Oracle or NCR Teradata. Both tools are great, but you must pick based on business, political and technological reasons.

You will reduce the risk of your project by retaining experienced vendor- neutral data warehouse consultants to help in this technology selection.

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