Now that we have created a
warehouse database, we need to look at techniques for loading data
from the source systems (covered in Chapter 4) and providing the
information to users in a meaningful way (Chapter 5, "Building an
Analysis Services Database").
We have really only scratched the surface of a
full manufacturing data warehouse in this chapter, but remember
that our goal is to achieve business value by focusing on
delivering solutions that work, not by trying to model the entire
business in one project. Based on the business problem described at
the beginning of the chapter, we can include some new and
interesting subject areas in the next versions of the data
area is to include quota or budget
so that users can track their performance against their targets.
Also, we can look at adding information and calculations to support
business objectives such as improving
Using the BI
Development Studio to Generate the Data Warehouse
We will be using the BI Development Studio
extensively in the next couple of chapters to develop the ETL
process and to build some Analysis Services cubes. Instead of
starting by manually building the data warehouse database as we did
in this chapter, we could have started by defining our dimensions
and facts at a logical level in the BI Development Studio, and then
have generated the corresponding database tables.
This is a useful technique that enables you to
use the BI Development Studio as a rapid prototyping tool to
develop cubes and dimensions without an underlying data source.
However, if you have experience in building data warehouse schemas
by hand, you might find this approach somewhat limited in that you
don't have complete control over the table structures and data
types generated. BI developers who are not comfortable with
building databases directly might find it much more intuitive,
however, and then an
database designer could adjust the
tables after they are generated.
To use the BI Development Studio in this way,
you can create a new Analysis Services project with no data source,
and then when adding dimensions, select the "Build without using a
data source" option. After you have added attributes and
hierarchies to the dimensions, you can select Generate Relational
Schema from the Database menu to create the database.