In This Chapter
Shopping the smart way at conferences and trade shows
Dealing effectively with data warehousing vendors
Looking at the future of data warehousing and mainstream information technologies
The name of the game in data warehousing since the early 1990s has been hype. A lot of hype. Massive amounts of hype. Hype. Hype! HYPE! Whew — I had to get that out of my system. I'm serious, though. Whether you're talking about business intelligence suites (the best-of-breed versus highly integrated), OLAP tools (ROLAP versus MOLAP), middleware tools (data-movement-ETL versus federated-EII), or any other aspect of data warehousing, you may have a lot of trouble separating merit from empty promise, fact from fiction, in the wonderful world of data warehousing.
Although data warehousing has more substance and provides more value than many of its predecessors on the hype hit parade, the discipline has, in my opinion, been somewhat compromised by the usual bag of tricks that the shiftier side of some product and service providers (vendors and consultants) like to pull out.
Although I'm not one to point fingers, anyone who has been to a data warehousing trade show or sat through a couple of product demonstrations (and then tried to implement a real-world data warehousing environment with products that just didn't work as promised) knows what I'm talking about. A world of difference exists between looking at a few glossy brochures ...