Using a Data Warehouse
The traditional role of a data warehouse is to collect and organize historical business data so it can be analyzed to assist management in making business decisions. Until recently, access to data warehouses was limited to database experts who could create the sophisticated queries necessary to retrieve, summarize, and format information for use by analysts and executive decision makers. As data warehouses become more common and businesses involve lower levels of management in the decision-making process, the need has become greater for direct end-user access to data warehouse data by people with minimal database expertise.
The data warehouse must accommodate the requirements of a continually increasing variety of applications that access data warehouse data. Most applications must be set up and initially configured before they can work effectively with a data warehouse, and this work is often performed or managed by the data warehouse administrator. In some cases the data warehouse must incorporate modifications in order to meet the requirements of a new application.
In addition to end-user applications for data access, other applications continue to be developed that execute within the data warehouse environment to configure and analyze data in new and powerful ways. Such applications require administration and maintenance by the data warehouse administrator.
New uses for data warehouse technology are continually being developed. Some organizations now collect, analyze, and package data for sale to customers. Real-time data warehouses, once a term with no meaning, are now emerging for use in online commerce.
The topics in this section describe various technologies that can be used with data warehouses.
|SQL Queries||Describes the uses of SQL queries in a data warehouse.|
|OLAP and Data Mining||Describes online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining technologies used with data warehouses.|
|English Query||Describes the component of Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 that enables querying a data warehouse using English words and phrases.|
|Microsoft Office 2000||Describes how Microsoft Office 2000 components can use data in a data warehouse.|
|Web Access and Reporting||Describes access to data warehouse data and reports over the Web.|
|Offline OLAP Cubes||Describes the use of offline cube for data analysis when users are not connected to SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services.|
|Third-Party Applications||Describes the use of third-party applications with data warehouses.|
|Custom Applications||Describes the availability of application programming interfaces (APIs) that can be used to create custom applications that administer or use data warehouses.|