Introduction to star schemas and dimensional modeling concepts.

Uli Bethke Data Warehousing Books, Dimensional Modeling, DW Design

I recently came across two excellent papers that give an introduction to star schemas and dimensional modeling. The two papers have a unique anlgle in that they apply a rule based approach to transform transactional ER models to dimensional models.

In the words of the authors:

"An ER model can be transformed into a set of dimensional models by a process of selective subsetting, denormalization, and (optional) summarization. Understanding the relationship between the two types of models can help to bridge the gap between operational system (OLTP) design and data warehouse (OLAP) design. It can also help to resolve the difficult problem of matching supply (operational data sources) and demand (end-user information needs) in data warehouse design. Finally, it results in a more complete dimensional design, which is less dependent on the designer’s ability to choose the right dimensions. "

The two articles give the best explanation of dimensional modeling concepts I have come across anywhere; and the really nice thing is that they give you a tool based on set theory to transform an ER model to a dimensional model.

From ER Models to Dimensional Models Part I

From ER Models to Dimensional Models Part II

Another book that has recently caught my eye is Christopher Adamson's book

Star Schema The Complete Reference

Other dimensional modeling books you may be interested in:

About the author

Uli Bethke LinkedIn Profile

Uli has 18 years’ hands on experience as a consultant, architect, and manager in the data industry. He frequently speaks at conferences. Uli has architected and delivered data warehouses in Europe, North America, and South East Asia. He is a traveler between the worlds of traditional data warehousing and big data technologies.

Uli is a regular contributor to blogs and books, holds an Oracle ACE award, and chairs the the Hadoop User Group Ireland. He is also a co-founder and VP of the Irish chapter of DAMA, a non for profit global data management organization. He has co-founded the Irish Oracle Big Data User Group.