Think about an OLTP application, perhaps a checking account system in a commercial bank. When you, as a developer, designed and deployed the application, how many third-party software tools did you use to develop such an application? Of course, do not count the programming language or the database software. We mean other third-party vendor tools for data modeling, GUI design software, and so on. You probably used just a few, if any at all. Similarly, when the bank teller uses the application, she or he probably uses no third-party software tools.

But a data warehouse environment is different. When you, as a member of the project team, develop the data warehouse, you will use third-party tools for different phases of the development. You may use code-generators for preparing in-house software for data extraction. When the data warehouse is deployed, your users will be accessing information through third-party query tools and creating reports with report writers. Software tools are very significant parts of the infrastructure in a data warehouse environment.

Software tools are available for every architectural component of the data warehouse. Figure 8-16 shows the tool groups that support the various functions and services in a data warehouse.

Software tools are extremely important in a data warehouse. As you have seen from this figure, tools cover all the major functions. Data warehouse project teams write only a small part of the software in-house needed ...

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