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Issue Date: July 2007

Why DW2.0

July 2007
Bill Inmon, co-owner of Corporate Information Factory

Data warehousing began in the mid 1980s. By 1990 the first book on data warehousing had been written and seminars were just beginning. Soon thereafter data marts, ODS, DSS applications and a whole host of other extensions to the data warehouse began to appear.

At the same time, technology began to appear that made data warehousing commercially viable. There was the extension of DBMS to start to be able to handle very large volumes of data. There was a drop in disk storage prices.
There was the advent of new forms of storage such as near line storage.
There were the business intelligence vendors. In short, the world of data warehouse went from a theoretical possibility to a burgeoning reality in a few short years.
From a thought leadership perspective, something unusual began to happen.
Consulting firms were building data warehouses that really were not data warehouses. Some vendors began to talk about realtime data warehouses and active data warehouses when no such thing existed as part of data warehousing. Some conferences which focused on data warehousing, held many presentations on solutions that were not data warehousing. In those presentations the concept of a data warehouse was changed from what a data warehouse really was to a form of data warehousing that was simply not valid. Yet these non data warehouse structures were called data warehouses.
And finally even consultants issued reports that measured the size of data warehouses that included all sorts of databases that were not remotely data warehouses.
In a word, the thought leadership, that once had been very clear surrounding data warehouses, turned very murky. People were using any old notion of data warehousing or something resembling data warehousing to sell their products and services whether the notion was proper or not.
Into this sea of confusion comes DW2.0:
DW2.0 is the architecture of the next generation of data warehousing. It is a statement of what a data warehouse should be and the vision that Bill Inmon has for the future of data warehousing.
Some of the more prominent features of DW2.0 include: the recognition of the life cycle of data within the data warehouse; inclusion of unstructured data along with structured data inside the data warehouse; inclusion of metadata as a tightly integrated part of the data warehouse matching of unstructured data to structured data; ability to seamlessly handle massive amounts of data; as well as other features that are discussed during the training.

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