So far in this chapter, we have discussed several aspects of metadata in a data warehouse environment. We have seen why metadata is a critical need for end-users as well as for IT professionals who are responsible for development and administration. We have established that metadata plays an active role in the automation of data warehouse processes.

At this stage, we can increase our understanding further by grouping the various types of metadata. When you classify each type, your appreciation for each type will increase and you can better understand the role of metadata within each group.

Different authors and data warehouse practitioners classify and group metadata in various ways: some by usage, and some by who uses it. Let us look at a few ways in which metadata is being classified. In each line of the list shown below are the different methods for classification of metadata:

  • Administrative/End-user/Optimization

  • Development/Usage

  • In the data mart/At the workstation

  • Building/Maintaining/Managing/Using

  • Technical/Business

  • Back room/Front room

  • Internal/External

In an earlier chapter, we considered a way of dividing the data warehouse environment by means of the major functions. We can picture the data warehouse environment as being functionally divided into the three areas of Data Acquisition, Data Storage, and Information Delivery. All data warehouse processes occur in these three functional areas. As a developer, you design the processes in ...

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