The Oracle Data Warehouse

Gary Hallmark

Oracle Corporation
400 Oracle Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065



Data warehousing is a rapidly growing area in the database industry. Spurred by global competition, value-driven customers, and new technology, companies are scrambling to cut costs, win customers, and make more profitable decisions.

A data warehouse that integrates and summarizes sales and marketing data, demographic data, and financial data can help businesses make more informed decisions about competition, prices, customers, and other business dimensions. A warehouse must also store documents and media such as legal contracts, maps, and training videos that provide background and context for decision makers.

Oracle's role as a technology vendor is to provide services such as consulting and technical support, Oracle products such as databases and analysis tools, and tested companion products from other companies to customers seeking to build data warehouses.

Oracle's goal is to define an open architecture where any type of data (record-oriented, object-oriented, text, spatial, audio, video) can be integrated from any source (OLTP systems, credit reporting agencies, mailing lists, videotape) into an Oracle database. The source, type, transformations, and semantics of all data are catalogued in a standard meta-data dictionary. A wide variety of tools are available to query, browse, summarize, and analyze the data. The warehouse scales to support terabytes of data and thousands of users.

A data warehouse architecture integrates many different technologies such as parallel execution, bitmap indexing, replication, multidimensional access methods, GUI tools that slice, dice, and pivot, utilities that clean and scrub imported data, and so on. No one technology is sufficient. This talk will give a brief overview about many of the components of the Oracle data warehouse.