Oracle8i Data Warehousing Guide
Release 2 (8.1.6)

Part Number A76994-01





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ETT Overview

This chapter discusses extracting, transporting, and transforming in a data warehousing environment:

ETT Overview

You need to load your data warehouse regularly so that it can serve its purpose of allowing business analysis. To do this, however, data from one or more operational systems needs to be extracted and copied into the warehouse. This process of reading and preparing the data is relatively difficult, and needs to be performed on a regular basis.

The process of extracting data from source systems and bringing it into the data warehouse is commonly called ETT, which stands for Extraction, Transformation, and Transportation. Indeed, the acronym ETT is perhaps too simplistic, since it omits one important phase, the loading of the data warehouse, and implies that each of other phases of the process is distinct. Rather than introduce new terminology, we will instead refer to the entire process as ETT. You should understand that ETT refers to a broad process, and not three well-defined steps.

The emphasis in many of the examples in this section is scalability. While many longtime users of Oracle are experts in programming complex data-transformation logic using PL/SQL, these chapters seek to suggest alternatives for many such data-manipulation operations, with a particular emphasis on implementations that leverage Oracle's existing parallel-query infrastructure.

ETT Tools

Building and maintaining the ETT process is often considered one of the most difficult and resource-intensive portions of a data-warehouse project. Many data-warehousing projects use ETT tools to manage this process. Oracle Warehouse Builder, for example, provides ETT capabilities. Other data warehouse builders choose to create their own ETT tools and processes.

Oracle8i is not an ETT tool, and does not provide a complete solution for ETT. However, Oracle8i does provide a rich set of capabilities which can be leveraged by both ETT tools and home-grown ETT solutions. Oracle8i offers techniques for transporting data between Oracle databases, for transforming large volumes of data, and for quickly loading new data into a data warehouse.

ETT Sample Schema

Many examples in the ETT section of this guide (Chapter 10 through Chapter 15) use the same, simple star schema. This schema consists of a single fact table (called sales) partitioned by month and four dimension tables. The definitions of these tables follow:

  product_id         VARCHAR2(6) NOT NULL,
  product_oe_id      VARCHAR2(6),
  product_name       VARCHAR2(60),
  product_language   VARCHAR2(30),
  product_media      VARCHAR2(8),
  product_category   VARCHAR2(30)

  time_id          DATE NOT NULL,
  time_month       VARCHAR2(5) NOT NULL,
  time_quarter     VARCHAR2(4) NOT NULL,
  time_year        NUMBER NOT NULL,
  time_dayno       NUMBER NOT NULL,
  time_weekno      NUMBER NOT NULL,
  time_day_of_week VARCHAR2(9) NOT NULL

CREATE TABLE customer 
  customer_id         VARCHAR2(6) NOT NULL,
  customer_name       VARCHAR2(25),
  customer_address    VARCHAR2(40),
  customer_city       VARCHAR2(30),
  customer_subregion  VARCHAR2(30),
  customer_region     VARCHAR2(15),
  customer_postalcode NUMBER(9), 
  customer_age        NUMBER(2),
  customer_gender     VARCHAR2(1)
  channel_id          VARCHAR2(2) NOT NULL,
  channel_description VARCHAR2(10)
  sales_transaction_id    VARCHAR2(8) NOT NULL,
  sales_product_id        VARCHAR2(4) NOT NULL,
  sales_customer_id       VARCHAR2(6) NOT NULL,
  sales_time_id           DATE NOT NULL,
  sales_channel_id        VARCHAR2(4) NOT NULL,
  sales_quantity_sold     NUMBER NOT NULL,
  sales_dollar_amount     NUMBER NOT NULL)

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