Physical Modeling of Data Warehouses Using UML Component and Deployment Diagrams: Design and Implementation Issues
Several approaches have been proposed to model different aspects of a Data Warehouse (DW) during recent years, such as the modeling of a DW at the conceptual and logical level, the design of the ETL (Extraction, Transformation, Loading) processes, the derivation of the DW models from the enterprise data models, and customization of a DW schema. At the end of the design, a DW has to be deployed in a database environment, requiring many decisions of a physical nature. However, few efforts have been dedicated to the modeling of the physical design of a DW from the early stages of a DW project. In this article, we argue that some physical decision can be taken from gathering main user requirements. In this paper, we present physical modeling techniques for DWs using the component diagrams and deployment diagrams of the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Our approach allows the designer to anticipate important physical design decisions that may reduce the overall development time of a DW such as replicating dimension tables, vertical and horizontal partitioning of a fact table, and the use of particular servers for certain ETL processes. Moreover, our approach allows the designer to cover all main design phases of DWs, from the conceptual modeling phase to the final implementation. To illustrate our techniques, we show a case study that is implemented on top of a commercial DW management server.