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by Burleson Consulting

The Data Warehouse Development Life Cycle

Online Analytical Processing and Oracle Alternatives To OLAP Data Representation

Many traditional database designs can be used to simulate a data cube. One alternative to the cubic representation would be to leave the table in linear form, using SQL to join the table against itself to produce a result, as shown in Figure 5.19.

Figure 5.19 Joining a relational table against itself.

Let's take a look at some queries that might require the self-joining of a table. For example:

* Show all customers in Hawaii who purchased our product more than 500 times.

* Show all customers in Los Angeles who purchase less than 10 times per month.

* Show all large customers (buying more than 100 items per month) in Alaska whose usage has dropped more than 10 percent in 1995.

* Show all customers in New York whose usage in March of 1990 deviated more than 20 percent from their usage in March of 1995.

* Show all customers in California where the company name contains Widget and usage has dropped more than 20 percent in 1995.

Figure 5.19 shows how a large sales summary table can be logically partitioned into pieces by extracting rows according to the year and month. With a single table such as this one, we can issue SQL that will join the table against itself to compare two date ranges. This is a very powerful technique for using SQL to perform sophisticated variance analysis without buying expensive tools. Listing 5.1 shows that a subset of this data can be extracted such that only California sites with more than 100 uses per month are displayed. For display, we chose percentage variance, number of requests, site number, ZIP code, and city. Note the sort order of the report in Listing 5.1; it is sorted first by ZIP, followed by city, and then by percentage variance within city.

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing". To learn more about Oracle, try "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", by Donald K. Burleson.  You can buy it direct from the publisher at 30% off here:


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