As an IT professional, when you were involved in the development of an OLTP system such as order processing or inventory control, or sales reporting, were you considering an architecture for each system? Although the term architecture is not usually mentioned in the context of operational systems, nevertheless, an under lying architecture does exist for these systems as well. For example, the architecture for such a system would include the file conversions, initial population of the database, methods for data input, information delivery through online screens, and the entire suite of online and batch reporting. But for such systems we do not deal with architectural considerations so much and in great detail. If that is so for operational systems, what is so different and distinctive about the data warehouse that compels us to consider architecture in such elaborate detail?

Data warehouse architecture is wide, complex, and expansive. In a data warehouse, the architecture consists of distinct components. The architecture has distinguishing characteristics worth considering in detail. Before moving on to discuss the architectural framework itself, let us review the distinguishing characteristics of data warehouse architecture.

7.3.1. Different Objectives and Scope

The architecture has to support the requirements for providing strategic information. Strategic information is markedly different from information obtained from operational systems. ...

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