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Do you see service-oriented architecture reducing the need for the data warehouse?

Q: Do you see service-oriented architecture (SOA) reducing the need for the data warehouse (DW)? What benefits do you see the data warehouse still providing to companies moving to SOA?

Sid Adelman's Answer:

SOA in no way reduces the need for a data warehouse and the benefits you identified (you did identify benefits, didn't you?) before you spent a dime on hardware and software are still relevant.

Clay Rehm's Answer:

SOA is not a product (it is an architectural style), so even if a company moves to SOA, I believe it will need a DW component. Don't underestimate the need of processes that provide value and that currently work! Just because your organization is embarking on an enterprise effort such as SOA does not mean it will be successful or that it will be implemented the way it was designed.

Anne Marie Smith's Answer:

To date, most SOA efforts have centered around transaction systems, but data warehousing can benefit from SOA with the ability to join various actions (services) from different areas of the DW to create composite applications or common services. If you are planning to move to SOA and you have a data warehouse, don't forget to include the DW in your SOA planning! Services that are part of a DW: data extraction, transformation, loading, querying, updating, etc., should be part of the SOA from the start. This should make more comprehensive business intelligence possible, and could assist in the development of fully integrated SOA (why have extraction and loading routines in separate environments if they are essentially similar) but it does require forethought and some serious investigation in the SOA planning phase. Finally, there are few tools available now for this effort, but vendors are reportedly looking at the need for SOA-oriented tools and techniques to support data warehousing.

Anne Marie Smith is a highly acclaimed author and speaker in the fields of data stewardship, data governance, data warehousing, data modeling and metadata management. She holds a doctorate in Management Information Systems and has taught at LaSalle University. Smith serves on the board of directors of DAMA International and is an expert advisor to DM Review's Ask the Experts. Smith is the director of education at EWSolutions, a GSA schedule partner and systems integrator dedicated to providing companies and government agencies with best-in-class business intelligence solutions using data warehousing, enterprise architecture and managed metadata environment technologies ( She may be reached directly via email at

Sid Adelman is a principal in Sid Adelman & Associates, an organization specializing in planning and implementing data warehouses, in data warehouse and BI assessments, and in establishing effective data architectures and strategies. He is a regular speaker at DW conferences. Adelman chairs the "Ask the Experts" column on He is a frequent contributor to journals that focus on data warehousing. He co-authored Data Warehouse Project Management and is the principal author on Impossible Data Warehouse Situations with Solutions from the Experts and Data Strategy. He can be reached at (818) 783-9634 or visit his Web site at

Clay Rehm, CCP, PMP, is president of Rehm Technology (, a consulting firm specializing in data integration solutions. Rehm provides hands-on expertise in project management, assessments, methodologies, data modeling, database design, metadata and systems analysis, design and development. He has worked in multiple platforms and his experience spans operational and data warehouse environments. Rehm is a technical book editor and is a co-author of the book, Impossible Data Warehouse Situations with Solutions from the Experts. In addition, he is a Certified Computing Professional (CCP), a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science and a Masters Degree in Software Engineering from Carroll College. He can be reached at

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