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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Internals by Bob Beauchemin Kalen Delaney Conor Cunningham, Jonathan Kehayias, Benjamin Nevarez, and Paul S. Randal

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Understanding data warehouses

A data warehouse is a decision support system for business decision making, designed to execute queries from users as well as reporting and analytical applications. It’s also structurally different from an OLTP system, which focuses on operational transaction processing (we’ll look at some of these differences in a just a moment). Because of these different purposes, both systems also have different workloads: A data warehouse usually must support complex and large queries, compared with the typically small transactions of an OLTP system.

Another main difference between OLTP databases and data warehouses is the degree of normalization found in them. An OLTP system uses normalized data, usually at a third normal form, ...

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