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We are in the prototyping phase of our data warehouse.

    Ask The Experts published in DMReview.com
August 1, 1999
  By David Marco and Douglas Hackney


We are in the prototyping phase of our data warehouse. The data domain is chosen and approved by the executive committee. My IT partners recommend we use a software called Oracle warehouse builder, which would be actually in a beta 2 phase. I am skeptical about the pertinence and efficiency of that recommendation. Do you have an advice on this?


David Marco's Answer: While I am not personally familiar with Oracle Warehouse Builder, I always look to discourage my clients from implementing on software that is in beta of any sort. There tends to be enough challenges surrounding learning and implementing software than having to work around the bugs. One question I would ask your IT partners is if they have a partnership with the software company and if they receive a commission from your purchase of the product.

Doug Hackney's Answer: In general, if using beta software, you must expect a 30- 60 percent overhead of dealing with the vendor's issues. You are, in effect, joining their development team. The key question is: What are you gaining in return? Are you getting the production release at a vastly reduced price or for free? How much is your time worth? The time of your team? What is the best possible outcome related to your participation? The worst possible outcome? The upside must be worth the risk and the inherent delays, frustrations and dead ends associated with any beta experience.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
DW Design, Methodology and Business Intelligence (BI).

David Marco is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of enterprise architecture, data warehousing and business intelligence and is the world's foremost authority on meta data. He is the author of Universal Meta Data Models (Wiley, 2004) and Building and Managing the Meta Data Repository: A Full Life-Cycle Guide (Wiley, 2000). Marco has taught at the University of Chicago and DePaul University, and in 2004 he was selected to the prestigious Crain's Chicago Business "Top 40 Under 40."  He is the founder and president of Enterprise Warehousing Solutions, Inc., a GSA schedule and Chicago-headquartered strategic partner and systems integrator dedicated to providing companies and large government agencies with best-in-class business intelligence solutions using data warehousing and meta data repository technologies. He may be reached at (866) EWS-1100 or via e-mail at DMarco@EWSolutions.com.

Douglas Hackney is the president of Enterprise Group Ltd., a consulting and knowledge-transfer company specializing in designing and implementing data warehouses and associated information delivery systems. He can be reached at www.egltd.com.

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