Links Updated

A few additions to note.

I’ve been a follower Ralph Kimball‘s articles and books for a few years now. Speaking from my own experience his formalisation of the technique of delivering conformed data marts to build an enterprise-level data warehouse (Bus Architecture) simply works, and works well. I’ve been using it as the basis for a lot of design work over the past eight years, and my most recent client has an extraordinary record of receiving 100% award fees on their contract, based largely (I think) on the rapid development that it enables.

Although proponents of a unified (3NF) Enterprise Data Warehouse have much to say in criticism of it, I haven’t seen any arguments that stand up in practice. They either focus on problems associated with not following proper design procedures (eg. not conforming the dimensions) or on problems that are even less tractable in an EDW/CIF system (having three source systems that give different values for revenue, for example).

I recently finished reading Kimball and Caserta’s  Data Warehouse ETL Toolkitbook, which was on the whole a great basis for robust development of the ETL subsystem. Where I did have issues with it was in some database-specific errors (Redo and Undo are notthe same thing) and in what I felt to be insufficient caveats on the differences between feature implementations across different vendors (the ability, or inability, to drop indexes associated with a single table partition for example). However the procedural descriptions and emphasis on the planning and documenting side is beyond reproach, and ought to be required reading for all data warehousers.

On the same lines I have added a link to Intelligent Enterprise, which I like for the less vendor-specific focus on Business Intelligence. Sometimes it does us good to get out for a breath of fresh air.

Lastly, as a fan of extremely long blog posts I have to give a nod to Nuno Souto’s blog, the contents of which speak for themselves. Good stuff, Noons.

So, Farewell Then Dizwell

I’m sorry to hear that Howard Rogers has decided to shut down his Dizwell Informatics website, citing the workload of managing it and the number of people raising issues with articles when they plainly were not following the directions. Personally I used nearly all of Howard’s install articles and found every one of them to be of the highest quality. They saved me a lot of time and trouble over the past year or so.

I’m just guessing, but I expect that starting a new job and the need to move back into the Big City doesn’t help with the workload either, and I can certainly sympathise with that — I have a backlog of six or seven technical articles floating around in draft form at the moment but with an impending move, search for “new opportunities”, and three kids to find schools and daycares for I haven’t much hope of getting to grips with them at the moment.

Anyhoo, I hope that Howard will continue to make a public contribution through other sites, and maybe consider sending those handy articles on to a new online home.

Don’s Back …

… and in rare form too, with a new blog entry on a prolasped rectum incident. Not his own, I should add, a horse’s. I particularly liked, “…I’ve seen things so gross that they would gag a maggot”.
My advice, make sure he washes his hand before you shake it!

Congratulations to HJR …

… the latest Oracle ACE.

Howard‘s work has saved me much aggravation over the past months, most notably in terms of Oracle on Linux installs and VMWare, but he also fills many gaps in my regular DBA knowledge on backup and recovery for example, which I don’t do nearly often enough to be competent at.

Well-deserved recognition, and according to my simplistic page searching methods he becomes the only Oracle ACE resident in the sunburnt country, which ought to be worth something. He’s even an actual Aussie now, so it’s all bona fide.

A Quick File Upload Test

One of the features of WordPress that appeals to me most is the ability to shunt large blocks of text, such as scripts and what-not, off to uploaded files. I like this because it avoids breaking up the flow of the article, and avoids tricky formatting issues.
Here's a quick test … a SQL script and a PDF document to see if it works. If anyone has problems with using this please let me know.