A database is general purpose software and it serves as the basis of a platform that meets a variety of needs, including:
Reliably storing data and protecting each user’s data from the effects of other users’ changes
Providing a consistent and persistent view of the data
Summarizing and comparing data, detecting trends and data relationships, and forecasting
The last two capabilities are most often associated with a data warehouse, part of an infrastructure that provides business intelligence used in strategic and tactical business management of the corporation or organization. Such solutions expose valuable business information embedded in an organization’s data stores—essentially creating additional value from existing data resources. Because of this, data warehousing is the focus of a great deal of interest from business constituencies.
Data warehousing and business intelligence solutions are widely deployed and continue to be a focus for further development in many organizations. There is a very simple reason behind this: such projects and solutions are seen as core to making business decisions, providing a return on investment that can be grasped by the business community.
This trend is not new. Oracle began adding data warehousing features to Oracle7 in the early 1990s. Ever since, additional features ...