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The MicrosoftData Warehouse Toolkit: With SQL Server2005 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Toolset: With SQL Server 2005 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Toolset

The MicrosoftData Warehouse Toolkit: With SQL Server2005 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Toolset: With SQL Server 2005 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Toolset [Kindle Edition]

Joy Mundy , Warren Thornthwaite , Ralph Kimball
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

This groundbreaking book is the first in the Kimball Toolkit series to be product-specific. Microsoft’s BI toolset has undergone significant changes in the SQL Server 2005 development cycle. SQL Server 2005 is the first viable, full-functioned data warehouse and business intelligence platform to be offered at a price that will make data warehousing and business intelligence available to a broad set of organizations. This book is meant to offer practical techniques to guide those organizations through the myriad of challenges to true success as measured by contribution to business value.

Building a data warehousing and business intelligence system is a complex business and engineering effort. While there are significant technical challenges to overcome in successfully deploying a data warehouse, the authors find that the most common reason for data warehouse project failure is insufficient focus on the business users and business problems. In an effort to help people gain success, this book takes the proven Business Dimensional Lifecycle approach first described in best selling The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit and applies it to the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 tool set.

Beginning with a thorough description of how to gather business requirements, the book then works through the details of creating the target dimensional model, setting up the data warehouse infrastructure, creating the relational atomic database, creating the analysis services databases, designing and building the standard report set, implementing security, dealing with metadata, managing ongoing maintenance and growing the DW/BI system. All of these steps tie back to the business requirements. Each chapter describes the practical steps in the context of the SQL Server 2005 platform.

Intended Audience

The target audience for this book is the IT department or service provider (consultant) who is:

  • Planning a small to mid-range data warehouse project;
  • Evaluating or planning to use Microsoft technologies as the primary or exclusive data warehouse server technology;
  • Familiar with the general concepts of data warehousing and business intelligence.

The book will be directed primarily at the project leader and the warehouse developers, although everyone involved with a data warehouse project will find the book useful. Some of the book’s content will be more technical than the typical project leader will need; other chapters and sections will focus on business issues that are interesting to a database administrator or programmer as guiding information.

The book is focused on the mass market, where the volume of data in a single application or data mart is less than 500 GB of raw data. While the book does discuss issues around handling larger warehouses in the Microsoft environment, it is not exclusively, or even primarily, concerned with the unusual challenges of extremely large datasets.

About the Authors

JOY MUNDY has focused on data warehousing and business intelligence since the early 1990s, specializing in business requirements analysis, dimensional modeling, and business intelligence systems architecture. Joy co-founded InfoDynamics LLC, a data warehouse consulting firm, then joined Microsoft WebTV to develop closed-loop analytic applications and a packaged data warehouse.

Before returning to consulting with the Kimball Group in 2004, Joy worked in Microsoft SQL Server product development, managing a team that developed the best practices for building business intelligence systems on the Microsoft platform. Joy began her career as a business analyst in banking and finance. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Economics, and from Stanford with an MS in Engineering Economic Systems.

WARREN THORNTHWAITE has been building data warehousing and business intelligence systems since 1980. Warren worked at Metaphor for eight years, where he managed the consulting organization and implemented many major data warehouse systems. After Metaphor, Warren managed the enterprise-wide data warehouse development at Stanford University. He then co-founded InfoDynamics LLC, a data warehouse consulting firm, with his co-author, Joy Mundy. Warren joined up with WebTV to help build a world class, multi-terabyte customer focused data warehouse before returning to consulting with the Kimball Group. In addition to designing data warehouses for a range of industries, Warren speaks at major industry conferences and for leading vendors, and is a long-time instructor for Kimball University. Warren holds an MBA in Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and a BA in Communications Studies from the University of Michigan.

RALPH KIMBALL, PH.D., has been a leading visionary in the data warehouse industry since 1982 and is one of today's most internationally well-known authors, speakers, consultants, and teachers on data warehousing. He writes the "Data Warehouse Architect" column for Intelligent Enterprise (formerly DBMS) magazine.

From the Back Cover

As longtime data warehousing practitioners and former Microsoft insiders, authors Joy Mundy and Warren Thornthwaite have extensive experience in building and managing data warehouse (DW) and business intelligence (BI) systems. With this book, they share best practices for using SQL Server 2005 to build a successful DW/BI system. Covering the complete suite of data warehousing tools that accompanies SQL Server 2005, they focus on the full project lifecycle, including design, development, deployment, and maintenance. You′ll learn how and when to use BI tools such as Analysis Services, Integration Services, and the SQL Server database to accomplish various data warehousing tasks. A helpful case study used throughout the book provides examples of the techniques presented. You′ll find practical guidance for every member of the data warehouse team and learn how to: Identify high–value business requirements and build organizational support for the project Design an information infrastructure for the enterprise using established dimensional design Design and build a flexible and powerful ETL system to clean, align, and restructure data for business use Provide decision makers with tools to analyze business problems and opportunities Use data mining to uncover data relationships and trends Build BI applications in Reporting Services Maintain, secure, and operate the DW/BI system Visit the companion Web site at The companion Web site contains all the code samples, the sample database used throughout, sample templates, and other job aids.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 11090 KB
  • Print Length: 792 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (13 Feb 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000YIVXC2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #821,761 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly covers the BI development lifecycle. 15 Jun 2008
I don't normally enjoy reading technical IT books, but this one was difficult to put down. It covers the whole of the Business Intellegence lifecycle using Microsoft products (namely SQL Server 2005, Inegration Services, Analysis Services and Reporting Services) to build a Kimball Dimensional model data warehouse.

The initial chapters cover the design cycle and reinforce the need to drive the data warehouse design from properly researched client requirements.

It then goes on to implement the design through an ETL process using SQL Server Integration Services. The coverage is complete with particular attention to handling Type 1 and 2 data changes. The Slowly Changing Dimension Task is well described and provokes significant thought about warehouse design.

Designing and building the OLAP database follows with 3 chapters dedicated to Business Intelligence applications, including comprehensive coverage of the role of Reporting Services and Data Mining Modeling. I have found these 3 chapters particularly useful in deciding how to deliver the client side analysis tools.

The final section explains how to setup security, how to deploy your solution, how to manage operations and maintenance and, finally, how to implement Real-Time Business Intelligence in the traditional data warehouse.

A number of tools are available from the books web site, including a well written and fully working (on SQL Server 2005 - needs some small changes for SQL 2008 because the underlying AdventureWorks database is changed in SQL 2008) SSIS package.

This is not a regurgitation of Books On Line, nor is it a step by step 'How To' guide to using Microsoft SQL Server.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny! 25 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've worked in business intelligence and data warehousing for about 7 years now but have only ever had to create/populate a data warehouse using SQL Server 2000 and DTS (Data Transformation Services), so I needed to get up to speed on using SQL Server 2005/2008 and having attended a few webinars (incidentally, one run by Joy Mundy, co-author of this fine book), I decided to grab myself a copy of this title, and it has rarely left my desk since I bought it. I can't give you a full review of absolutely everything that the book covers because there are some areas that we are not using, but the first 6 chapters which bring you up to the point of developing an ETL system are well covered. The books accompanying online material is also extremely useful. I suspect that if you are new to SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) then you may want to get a copy of a text that covers that aspect alone because whilst the book covers "what you should/could/can do" it doesn't always tell you "how". In particular I was unfamiliar with SSI expression language - but that's where the internet comes in handy (yet again) - although I may be a little unfair as perhaps that sort of stuff is covered in The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Extracting, Cleaning, Conforming, and Delivering Data. If you know SSIS (and I guess SSAS), then this book is just about all you will need to build a successfull data warehouse. There are some parts I wish the authors had elaborated on, but in all fairness if you start picking through the books examples (downloadable) then you should be able to figure out how it does things (auditing is a prime example). I can't honestly dock it any stars for my lack of knowledge though. Final bonus ... Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the Kimble Group rocks! 5 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The clearly written guide describes the suite of Microsoft data warehousing technologies and tools in the context of the widely respected Ralph Kimball design techniques that are generally realised as being best practice in the field. Expert advice is provided on how to best-use these tools to build your robust B.I. solutions.

This book builds on the previous Data Warehouse Toolkit, Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit, and Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit books, but it stands on it's own as a self-contained and comprehensive guide. The guide's strength is keeping the explanations in MS SQL2005 context while you learn and harvest the many useful tips provided.

Chain this book to your lap-top as your colleagues will be after it in no time!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a "How To", it's a methodology 7 Aug 2006
By Craig - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book for middle to upper management to learn the 10,000 foot overview of data warehousing. Reading this book can give you all the jargon you'll need to smooze your fellow IT personnel across a conference room table about data warehousing.

Unfortunately, I was looking for a book that would actually spell out HOW TO use SQL Server 2005 Integration Services and Analysis Services.
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Home Run From the Kimball Group 11 Mar 2006
By Jim Stagnitto - Published on
Perhaps, like me, you consider yourself a data warehousing professional with some hard-won expertise? Perhaps you too have stockpiled a number of assumptions about "what works" and "what doesn't" when it comes to building large, grown-up data warehouses? Candidly - for me - the "what doesn't" category - for some years now - has included the Microsoft SQL Server DBMS. This perception was shaped by some bad experiences - 100 years ago - with early SQL Server products. Beautiful interfaces and literature promising administration-lite databasing did little to instill confidence back then, and (in my unscientific survey) the products failed way too frequently (and sometimes in spectacular fashion) when dealing with data volumes larger than a breadbox. But, in typical Microsoft fashion, the shortcomings of these early releases get addressed - slowly yet relentlessly - over time. And I've known for awhile that I'm seriously remiss in having a second serious look at Microsoft's data warehousing suite.

Enter Warren Thornthwaite and Joy Mundy's terrific new book: "The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit":

The clearly written and lint-free text describes the now-mature suite of Microsoft data warehousing technologies and tools in the context of the super-powerful Ralph Kimball design techniques that are now fully recognized as best practice in the field. Warren & Joy provide expert advice in how to leverage these tools to build industrial-strength, contemporary, end-to-end business intelligence solutions.

This is another home run from the Kimball Group.

None of the tough design challenges in the Kimball Toolkit series have been glossed over, and the authors are refreshingly candid in their advice on how best to exploit the MS tools' strengths - with pragmatic advice on how best to dodge their weaknesses.

The power of Ralph's design techniques, in concert with the undeniably compelling price/performance of the MS product line, is going to be very disruptive to the data warehousing status quo. I believe that we specialists in the field have a choice: embrace this new reality, or quietly fade away. Sadly, I'm in no position to retire yet, so I choose the former. The "Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit" has actually got me excited about building my first end-to-end Microsoft data warehouse. Given my historical biases - believe me - there can be no stronger endorsement!

Congratulations to the authors for a wonderful contribution to the field.

Jim Stagnitto

Data Warehouse Architect

Llumino, Inc. ([...]
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Grand Slam From The Kimball Group 10 Feb 2006
By JP O'Connor - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It should come as no surprise to readers of Ralph Kimball's work that this latest offering from two members of the Kimball Group is every bit as insightful, practical, and useful as previous books in the toolkit series.

This book is not another "condensed software manual" nor is it an idealized or theoretic idea of how someone thinks a project ought to be done. Rather, this book is "roll up your sleeves, hands on, this is how to make it work in the real world" kind of material from authors who have been there and done that many times over.

Experience is a dear teacher, especially in data warehousing, and Joy, Warren, and Ralph freely share their insights. At pertinent points, they provide pointers to external references for digging deeper. An example of this are the references provided on page 411 related to image density and information display. The companion web site already has several useful tools and the collection will likely grow in the coming weeks.

While this book builds on the previous Data Warehouse Toolkit, Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit, and Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit books, it is self contained and comprehensive. The previous books provide much additional detail of course. This book takes those ideas and shows us how to implement them using Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 suite of tools.

Instead of providing a bunch of disjoint "tips" or examples, a complete project is taken from start to finish to show how the design choices and strategies - based on requirements - lead to implementation choices and techniques and how all the components are brought together in a comprehensive end result.

The book hadn't been on my desk 30 minutes before co-workers were already trying to borrow it. I think they each need to buy their own copy!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theory mets Practice 26 Feb 2006
By D. Mathews - Published on
This book brings together the Kimball Groups solid work around Dimensional Modeling with Microsoft's latest version of SQL Server. While the other books by the Kimball Group have excelled on explaining Dimensional Modeling, they often fell short in giving practical advice for implementation. For example the ETL Toolkit frequently used awd, sed, etc. - although often found in legacy systems these tools generally aren't the first choice when building a new DW. The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit took the hit (chose a vendor) and uses SQL Server's Integration Services, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, etc. to build very practical and useful examples. And through excellent use of references to the other Kimball Group books and a `conformed' terminology approach this book serves as an excellent guide for building a Data Warehouse in SQL Server 2005.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2005 4 July 2007
By S. Martin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having spent more time doing data warehousing than reading about it, I didn't realize what a phenomenon the Kimball Method had become. I was interviewing with a company that mentioned Kimball and wanted to use his methods to build a data warehouse on SQL Server 2005, so I turned to Amazon, found this book, used my Amazon Prime to get the tome and got the job. So how was the book? Honestly, it covers the Kimball Method well and most experienced analysts will not find much new other than the jargon. The practical advice from Mundy and Thornthwaite is valuable and will help you make some practical decisions on implementation, if not spell out all the steps. My feeling was that if you are comfortable with implementing data marts or data warehouses, this book will give you the advice you need for setting up a SQL Server 2005 data warehouse and implementing Analysis Services. For a more in depth look at how to implement Analysis Services, I recommend Melomed's book as a follow on.

The only complaint I have with this book is it over sells SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) as an ETL tool. That is probably Mundy's Microsoft viewpoint speaking rather than actual experience with the tool. After using SSIS, I look at it as Data Transformation Services (DTS) with a nice face on it, but really its just lipstick on the same pig. I have picked up several books on SSIS to try find out how to do all the wonderful things it promises, but they pretty much echo the documentatiion, so I can't really recommend any of them.

Overall, this is book well worth reading. After spending the last year on an Oracle/Teradata project, its refreshing to get back to SQL Server 2005 and Analysis Services. If you are just making the jump to data warehousing on SQL Server 2005, this is a must read. If you are already familiar with Kimball, you will skip a lot but get some good implementation advice and that makes it worth the price. If you want to know more about MDX or SSIS, this isn't what you are looking for.
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