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Backing up a database by merely copying its files still must be done with the database offline. The apparent complexity of a database backup is mostly due to the requirement for online backup, and the occasional need to restore to a particular point in time When do backups? This needs to be a conscious decision enshrined in the Service-level agreement for each application. How much time do you want to spend restoring your system? How much data can you afford to lose? How often does the data change in the database?

If you refer back to figure 2 or 3, you'll see that no primary key has been defined on the fact table. I have seen various recommendations on how to handle the primary key. One recommendation is to not include a primary key, as I've done here. Another recommendation is to create a composite primary key based on the foreign-key columns. A third recommendation is to add an IDENTITY column configured with the INT data type. Finally, another approach is to add columns from the original data source that can act as the primary key.

Figure 1: Using a Data Warehouse to Consolidate Heterogeneous Data The data warehouse must be able to store data from a variety of data sources in a way that lets tools such as SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) access the data efficiently. These tools are, in effect, indifferent to the original data sources and are concerned only with the reliability and viability of the data in the warehouse. Page 36 Chapter 5: SQL Server Data Warehouse Crib Sheet Page 37 of 90 Chapter 5: SQL Server Data Warehouse Crib Sheet A data warehouse is sometimes considered to be a place for archiving data.

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