Re: quick FK question

From: Robert Freeman <>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2009 08:46:57 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>


Your right, it's common to have FK enforcement occur at the integration (ETL) point or even just assume that the system of records are correct and not worry at all about the relationships (that's a dangerous one!). However in later versions of Oracle (10g and later as I recall) the optimizer will depend on defined FK relationships when generating execution plans and if they are not defined, you may not get an optimal execution plan. To avoid the problems with validation, you can define FK's but not have them be enforced. Also, FK's help define specific business rules that modelers that come later might well benefit from having documented in the metadata of the database. So, if it were me I'd be defining non-enforced FK's on my warehouse regardless of where (if) I'm really enforcing those relationships.


 Robert G. Freeman
Oracle ACE
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From: Rumpi Gravenstein <> To:
Cc:; Sent: Wed, December 23, 2009 6:48:14 AM
Subject: Re: quick FK question


There's another aspect to this conversation with regards to the fact that for warehouse implementations foreign key constraints are often times *enforced* in the ETL process and not in the database definition. Insofar as that's the case, the extra expense you describe in checking that foreign key relationships tie back to a parent record row isn't incurred.

-- Received on Wed Dec 23 2009 - 10:46:57 CST

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