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Ways to extend the content of the database

We run a data warehouse system supplied by our parent company (based upon the Oracle and Cognos products). Due to local business needs, it is necessary to extend the content of the database, i.e. add a number of additional tables containing 'local' business information. Because the information will require input/update/maintenance processing, I am of the opinion that we ought to create an external database where all this information is manipulated (i.e. minimize the risk of 'corrupting' the data warehouse content) and only transfer specific detail into the data warehouse at the appropriate time. It is true to say that certain detail will have to be downloaded from the data warehouse into the external database to provide data integrity; however the main feeds to the data warehouse only occur once a week and therefore transfer between the two environments can easily be catered for. Since there is a difference of opinion amongst some of the other IT staff, I would be interested to hear how other sites have tackled this sort of problem.

You have come upon a real life example where the data warehousing environment needs to support the intake role and the user access role. Your recommendation has some merit in that you can extend the intake layer of the data warehouse architecture to bring in the new data, then set up specific ETL to opportunistically bring that new data into the specific data marts as needed to support the business requirements.

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