Other Oracle Modules
Data warehousing is one of those concepts that we can easily picture, but we may start to tremble when we hear terms like artificial intelligence, architectures, and nonvolatile. Putting all the mathematics and buzzwords aside, a data warehouse is a database that is designed not so much for user input and transaction processing, but rather for analysis.
Another way to look at it would be to think of what the research arm of your organization needs versus what the accounting arm needs. Even though it's all the same data, the two departments seek different information from it. The researchers don't really care that you've purchased five cartons of read/write CD-ROMs. They are interested in how many employees use the online and Web-based systems that you have created versus the old mainframe systems. Their job is to analyze and make projections. Members of the accounting department, however, do want to know how many boxes you purchased, what your budget code is, and who gets paid. They're not so interested in the wonderful screens and Web sites that you have developed. Their job is to balance the books.
A data warehouse usually has quite a bit of historical information, and often it runs in its own environment (on its own server). What makes the data warehouse distinct from being just a repository of transactions is that the data undergoes some kind of analysis and integration.
Lest you think this is a simple task, actually designing and then building a data warehouse is a complex, time-consuming project. What we want to convey here is that Oracle has included data warehouse documentation with 8i and 9i—documentation that covers all the major parts that go into designing and building a data warehouse.
Oracle 9iAS also includes Oracle's Wireless Edition technology, which is Oracle's entry into the blossoming e-commerce and wireless world. In general, Oracle Wireless has the tools to make any Web content available to any device by using XML to move data from any source and deliver it to any target. Using this technique, Oracle Wireless has the capability to allow wireless devices access to both Web and database applications.
In Chapter 7 you will see some general references to Oracle's Wireless products when we step you through installing the 9iAS server. Because wireless technology is a highly specialized subject right now, it is beyond the scope of this book. However, I want to alert you to the fact that Oracle does have such products available. We will not be installing the Wireless products with 9iAS, so you can rest easy!