Starting with the first edition of The Data Warehouse Toolkit (Wiley, 1996), the Kimball Group has defined the complete set of techniques for modeling data in a dimensional way. In the first two editions of this book, we felt the techniques needed to be introduced through familiar use cases drawn from various industries. Although we still feel business use cases are an essential pedagogical approach, the techniques have become so standardized that some dimensional modelers reverse the logic by starting with the technique and then proceeding to the use case for context. All of this is good news!
The Kimball techniques have been accepted as industry best practices. As evidence, some former Kimball University students have published their own dimensional modeling books. These books usually explain the Kimball techniques accurately, but it is a sign of our techniques' resilience that alternative books have not extended the library of techniques in significant ways or offered conflicting guidance.
This chapter is the “official” list of Kimball Dimensional Modeling Techniques from the inventors of these design patterns. We don't expect you to read this chapter from beginning to end at first. But we intend the chapter to be a reference for our techniques. With each technique, we've included pointers to subsequent chapters for further explanation and illustrations based on the motivating use cases.
The techniques ...