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Re: help : how to proceed in becoming oracle designer , Datawarehousing expert

From: Dennis Williams <>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006 10:06:28 -0500
Message-ID: <>


An expert, very ambitious. First you should recognize that OLTP database design may differe from DW design. Usually OLTP database schemas are highly normalized, while DB database schemas are oriented toward the star schema layout.

I would suggest a balance of different activities:

  1. Web resources
  2. Books
  3. Classes
  4. Doing work.
  5. Working with other experts.

    For database design, I would suggest books as the starting point. There aren't many comprehensive web resources. Used book stores are a good starting point since this area has been pretty settled for several decades, leading to the prominence of companies like Oracle. If you find any books by C. J. Date, buy them. There are also recent college textbooks that explain things very well.

    For data warehousing, there are some good web resources, but it is still good to get a book that comprehensively introduces the subject. The two leading figures are Ralph Kimball and Bill Inmon. Ralph tends to take the user access point of view while Inmon tends to focus on the I.S. activities to support a large data warehouse. Both men offer a lot of their papers on their web sites.

    For books, and offer the opportunity to read excerpts of a book to ensure it is readable for you before you commit to a purchase.

    In both areas it helps to take an area familiar to you and design a system to support that area. Even if it is just a pencil exercise, you will learn a lot. Repeating this for different areas will help you understand the compromises involved. For example, in past years in the U.S., there would be a neighborhood video tape rental store. Most of us are familiar with this. A database schema to support this store would require a table to store information about the video tape inventory, another table to store information about each customer, a table to record a tape rental by a customer, and so on. Once you become oriented toward database design, you tend to see database design opportunities everywhere. You should carry some of these exercises forward to implementation. For example, I was a secretary for a bowling league when the bowling alley didn't have a computer. I created a database schema to record the scores each week and create reports for the next bowling session. A small application, but easy to fully implement.

     And creating a database schema for an area always involves compromises. How detailed the design is in certain areas will depend on what areas are of most value to the organization.

     But to truly become an expert, once you are have studied the subject throughly and mastered the basics, you should seek opportunities to work with true experts in the field. State-of-the-art projects tend to attract the experts.

Good luck
Dennis Williams

Received on Sun Jun 11 2006 - 10:06:28 CDT

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