Star Schema The Complete Reference Review

Star Schema: The Complete Reference by Christopher Adamson was published almost five years ago. An eternity in technology life. Luckily, strong design methodology holds up much longer then the latest smartphone. Not only does this book hold up, it should be at the top of your data warehouse book stack.

The book is broken down into six parts:

                         I.          Fundamentals
     II.          Multiple Stars
    III.          Dimension Design
    IV.          Fact Table Design
     V.          Performance
    VI.          Tools and Documentation

This is a very natural and logical progression through data modeling and ETL implications. You can read the book from beginning to end and/or use it as a reference when faced with a particular challenge. Star Schema covers a wide range of scenarios with examples that can be easily extrapolated to other industries or your particular data.

Even being in IT, IT books can be dry. However, Christopher’s writing style is that of a mentor. He walks you through each topic with examples. Often, I came up with a question only to be answered on the next page. This keeps the reader engaged and that makes for a deeper understanding of the material. Not every Customer Dimension or Sales Fact is modeled the same. After you know the concepts and the data, you can produce the best design.

From Conformed Dimensions to Recursive Hierarchies and Bridges, you will see your data and your data model in a new light. Every system needs a strong foundation. This book will help you develop a solid dimensional model that will support and grow as your business does.

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