Star Schema: The Complete Reference

By Christopher Adamson

Published by Mc-Graw Hill Osborne Media
ISBN: 978-0071744324
Paperback, 576 pages

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Star Schema: The Complete Reference is a comprehensive guide to dimensional modeling, written for anyone who works with star schemas, snowflakes or cubes. Its breadth and depth make it the definitive reference, ideal for beginners and experts alike.

Offering clear and easy to understand explanations of complex topics, Christopher Adamson teaches the best practices of dimensional modeling and their underlying rationales, equipping you to make informed design decisions.

Chris does it again, this time with perhaps the most comprehensive and easy to follow reference guides to dimensional modeling. I wouldn’t be surprised if this book became a standard at universities and among consulting organizations. I’ll certainly be recommending it to our clients.
— Doug Laney, VP Research, Gartner Group

The handbook is organized around dimensional design topics rather than vertical industry, so you can find what you need when you need it.

Architecture-neutral, the book’s practical advice can be put to use in any type of data warehouse, including those advocated by W.H. Inmon and Ralph Kimball.

Coverage beings with fundamentals, then follows a logical progression through advanced topics that address real-world complexity. All concepts are illustrated through real-world examples.

The book also explores the impact of design decisions on the BI and ETL processes, and discusses situations where it is useful to deviate from best practices. It provides a comprehensive set of tasks and deliverables that can be incorporated into any project, regardless of architecture, scope or methodology.

With Star Schema: The Complete Reference, you will master the principles of dimensional design and unleash the full potential of your data warehouse.


Eighteen chapters divided into six parts:

Part 1: Fundamentals

  • Analytic Databases and Dimensional Design
  • Data Warehouse Architectures
  • Stars and Cubes

Part 2: Multiple Stars

  • A Fact Table for Each Process
  • Conformed Dimensions

Part 3: Dimension Design

  • More On Dimension Tables
  • Hierarchies and Snowflakes
  • More Slow Change Techniques
  • Multi-Valued Dimensions and Bridges
  • Recursive Hierarchies and Bridges

Part 4: Fact Table Design

  • Transactions, Snapshots and Accumulating Snapshots
  • Factless Fact Tables
  • Type-Specific Stars

Part 5: Performance

  • Derived Schemas
  • Aggregates

Part 6: Tools and Documentation

  • Design and Business Intelligence
  • Design and ETL
  • How to Design and Document a Dimensional Model

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