Applying UML and XML for designing and interchanging information for data warehouses and OLAP applications
Multidimensional (MD) modeling is the basis for Data warehouses (DW), multidimensional databases (MDB) and On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) applications. In this paper, we present how the Unified Modeling Language (UML) can be successfully used to represent both structural and dynamic properties of these systems at the conceptual level. The structure of the system is specified by means of a UML class diagram that considers the main properties of MD modeling with minimal use of constraints and extensions of the UML. If the system to be modeled is too complex, thereby leading us to a considerable number of classes and relationships, we describe how to use the package grouping mechanism provided by the UML to simplify the final model. Furthermore, we provide a UML-compliant class notation (called cube class) to represent OLAP users' initial requirements. We also describe how we can use the UML state and interaction diagrams to model the behavior of a data warehouse system. To facilitate the interchange of conceptual MD models, we provide a Document Type Definition (DTD) which allows us to represent the same MD modeling properties that can be considered by using our approach. From this DTD, we can directly generate valid eXtensible Markup Language (XML) documents that represent MD models at the conceptual level. We believe that our innovative approach provides a theoretical foundation for simplifying the conceptual design of MD systems and the examples included in this paper clearly illustrate the use of our approach.