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Monday, November 16, 2009 5:46 AM
It’s been a while since I wrote my data warehousing book, so I wanted to read something hip and new on the topic. Lucky for me someone suggested that I examine “Oracle Warehouse Builder 11g: Getting Started” by Bob Griesemer from PACKT Publishing. While I’ve in the past worked mostly with custom Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) applications, for many people the better alternative might be to use tools written specifically for that purpose – such as Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB). And as with most pre-canned software, people often need an instruction manual and reference guide. Although Oracle does a bang up job on documentation these days, I and many others still like to have a third party book on the tools we use most. That’s why for TOAD users I just updated the” TOAD Handbook (2nd Edition)”.
Since OWB has evolved into a mature and robust ETL offering and since I work mostly with the Oracle database, OWB and this book seemed like a natural pairing for Oracle Professionals working on data warehousing projects. As I began reading this book, I considered myself a data warehousing literate person with very weak Oracle Warehouse Builder experience. So the book’s “Getting Started” aspect appealed to me (because I hate when books I read are miles above my head and make me feel dumb).
“Oracle Warehouse Builder 11g: Getting Started” has nine chapters. The first four provide a superb foundation explaining everything one needs to know about data warehouses while introducing the fundamental concepts of the tool. As an OWB neophyte, I found these chapters as being critical to comprehend and appreciate the true scope and power of this ETL tool. Yet as a data warehousing literate person I did not find the foundational knowledge as detracting from the book as it’s so well woven into the material. So I believe anyone from data warehouse novice to Oracle ACE can benefit immensely from this book while feeling neither over nor underwhelmed. The second four chapters then coalesce these fundamental data warehousing concepts and OWB skills into true workflows necessary to design, build and populate a data warehouse. The ninth chapter then ties up any loose ends.
Throughout the book the screen snapshots are extremely well done – being very easy to read (i.e. not too small) and with the correct ratio of snapshots to text. The author has also done an outstanding job of placing the right mix of warnings or tips and tricks all through the book. Plus I found the writing style easy to read. Thus the book was a pleasure to read. If you’re working on an Oracle data warehousing project this book could well be a contributor to your success. And it makes a fine reference guide for OWB for your bookshelf. Check it out.