The solution was described as being based on Unix Compressed Files that are partitioned and indexed to support querying along commonly used dimensions. Now, what is not "database" about that? From what I could gather, the data can only be queried from Compact's own proprietary user interface, so appears not to support SQL. Updating seems to take place only through ETL tools such as Ab Initio, so I guess it's not ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) compliant. So certainly, it's not a full-function database and thus cheaper to implement and maybe faster running, but claiming it's not a database at all seems like marketing-speak.
More important - is the resulting solution a data warehouse? Well, it was claimed that no modeling was needed to to set it up (another low cost implementation selling point). So, how does data integration and cleansing get defined? It sounded like the partitioning and indexing was done with some specific types of access in mind. So, maybe a cheap and large data mart at best, but not a data warehouse. And if you want to use any of your standard BI tools, you have to export the data into a (real) relational database or cube!
And finally, in response to a question on where to position this in his own Data Warehouse 2.0 architecture, Bill replied ... ummm, it doesn't really fit anywhere ... it's a special category on its own.
Personally, I don't think I buy it as a Data Warehouse or a non-database...
Posted April 21, 2009 3:27 AM
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