History of Data Warehouse

History of Data Warehouse

 William H. Inmon Biography

Bill Inmon, is recognized as the "father of the data warehouse" and co-creator of the "Corporate Information Factory." He has 35 years of experience in database technology management and data warehouse design. He is known globally for his seminars on developing data warehouses and has been a keynote speaker for every major computing association and many industry conferences, seminars, and tradeshows.

As an author, Bill has written about a variety of topics on the building, usage, and maintenance of the data warehouse and the Corporate Information Factory. He has written more than 650 articles, many of them have been published in major computer journals such as Datamation, ComputerWorld, and Byte Magazine. Bill is currently a columnist with Data Management Review, and has been since its inception. He has published 45 books; one sold over half a million copies, 21 have been book club selections with publishers such as Prentice-Hall, John Wiley, and QED. Translations of various books have been done in Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Ralph Kimball Biography

Ralph Kimball is known worldwide as an innovator, writer, educator, speaker and consultant in the field of data warehousing. He has remained steadfast in his long-term conviction that data warehouses must be designed to be understandable and fast. His books on dimensional design techniques have become the all time best sellers in data warehousing. To date Ralph has written more than 100 articles and columns for Intelligent Enterprise and its predecessors, winning the Readers Choice Award five years in a row.

After receiving a Ph.D. in 1972 from Stanford in electrical engineering (specializing in man-machine systems), Ralph joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). At PARC Ralph co-invented the Xerox Star Workstation, the first commercial product to use mice, icons and windows.

Ralph then became vice president of applications at Metaphor Computer Systems, pioneering decision support software and services provider. As a hands-on manager, he developed the Capsule Facility in 1982. The Capsule was a graphical programming technique which connected icons together in a logical flow, allowing a very visual style of programming for non-programmers. The Capsule was used to build reporting and analysis applications at Metaphor.

Ralph founded Red Brick Systems in 1986, serving as CEO until 1992. Red Brick Systems, now owned by IBM, was known for its lightning fast relational database optimized for data warehousing. Ralph Kimball Associates incorporated in 1992 to provide data warehouse consulting and education.


Ralph Kimball Vs. Bill Inmon's Paradigm of Data Warehouse

In data warehousing field, we often hear about discussion on whether a person/organization’s philosophy falls into Bill Inmon's camp or into Ralph Kimball's camp. Below is the difference between two philosophies:

Bill Inmon's paradigm

Data warehouse is one part of the overall business intelligence system. An enterprise has one data warehouse, and data marts source their information from the data warehouse. In the data warehouse, information is stored in 3rd normal form.

Ralph Kimball's paradigm

Data warehouse is the conglomerate of all data marts within the enterprise. Information is always stored in the dimensional model.

There is no right or wrong between these two ideas, as they represent different data warehousing philosophies. In reality, the data warehouse in most enterprises is closer to Ralph Kimball's idea. This is because most data warehouses started out as a departmental effort, and hence they originated as a data mart. Only when more data marts are built later do they evolve into a data warehouse.

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