One of the most widely discussed technologies is the Internet and its associated environment — the World Wide Web. Embraced by Wall Street as the basis for the new economy, Web technology enjoys wide popular support among business people and technicians alike. Although not obvious at first glance, there is a very strong affinity between the Web sites built by organizations and the data warehouse. Indeed, data warehousing provides the foundation for the successful operation of a Web-based eBusiness environment.
The Web environment is owned and managed by the corporation. In some cases, the Web environment is outsourced. But in most cases, the Web is a normal part of computer operations, and it is often used as a hub for the integration of business systems. (Note that if the Web environment is outsourced, it becomes much more difficult to capture, retrieve, and integrate Web data with corporate processing.)
The Web environment interacts with corporate systems in two basic ways. One interaction occurs when the Web environment creates a transaction that needs to be executed — an order from a customer, for example. The transaction is formatted and shipped to corporate systems, where it is processed just like any other order. In this regard, the Web is merely another source for transactions entering the business.
But the Web interacts with corporate systems another way as well — through the collection of Web activity in a log. Figure 10-1 shows ...