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Data Architectures

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Data Architecture Paper

Darren Bebout

University of Phoenix

Database Management Systems 405

William Glassen

October 20, 2005


This paper endeavors to explain the OLAP, Data Warehouse/Data Mart, Three-tier and .ASP architectures. Each of the individual architectures will be discussed separately.

Data Architecture Types

The first type of data architecture to be discussed is the OLAP architecture. Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) software is used to access a data warehouse. This software is optimized to work efficiently with data warehouses.

Users visualize the data warehouse as a multidimensional database in the shape of a cube. When users access a data warehouse, their queries usually involve aggregate data. As users view the aggregate results from their queries, they often need to perform further analysis of the data they're viewing. OLAP software lets users perform these analyses easily and quickly (Pratt and Adamski, 2004).

Data Warehouse and Data Marts Architecture

The second type of data architecture to be visited is the data warehouse or data mart. A data warehouse a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant, nonvolatile collection of data in support of management's decision-making process. In a data warehouse, data is organized by entity rather than by the application that uses the data, data is stored in one place, data in a data warehouse represents snapshots of data at various points in time in the past and the data is read-only (Pratt and Adamski, 2004).

A typical data warehouse contains a table called a fact table. A fact table consists of rows that contain consolidated and summarized data. The fact table contains a multi-part primary key, each part of which is a foreign key to the surrounding dimension tables. A dimension table contains a single-part primary key that serves as an index for the fact table and also contains other fields associated with the primary key value (Pratt and Adamski, 2004).

Three-tier Architecture

The third type of architecture to be explained is the three-tier architecture. Some definitions are in order before we proceed to further define three-tier architecture. These are a fat client which is a client that performs business functions. Whenever programmers must make changes to the business functions, they must make sure that they place the updated business functions on every fat client. Obviously, this would result in maintenance problems. Finally, scalability which is the ability of a computer system to continue to function well as utilization of the system increases. Because



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