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Where does WhereScape RED fit?

08 April 2009

We often get asked where WhereScape RED fits into a BI software stack.  When we first designed the product we did not constrain ourselves with fitting into existing architectures.  Instead we looked at what we would need to provide in order to speed up development and redevelopment of a data warehouse.  The downside is that it meant we created a product that cuts across traditional silos - we create tables and indexes (DBA role), generate code (developer), do transformations (ETL guy), document it (no one ones up for this one) ...

WhereScape RED is a development environment that builds data warehouse objects in a relational database (SQL Server, IBM InfoSphere, Oracle or Teradata).  We use the database's loaders to load data, and procedural SQL to transform, join, and aggregate data.  We store meta data about what is done, and use this meta data to produce documentation on demand.  The code we generate can be modified and can be run through our integrated scheduler.  WhereScape RED can build different styles of data warehouses (normalized, dimensional, cubes etc), which can be accessed through standard, off the shelf query and reporting tools.

Some of our customers already have traditional ETL tools.  These can be used to preprocess data, or to build enterprise data warehouses.  In the latter case WhereScape RED is used to speed up the delivery of a data mart layer.

This helps satisfy potentially rogue user communities who are quite happy to use an enterprise data warehouse as the source, but will not put up with any delay in getting their requirements met.  Traditionally these users build (hack?) solutions in their tool of choice (excel, access, cubes etc) outside the control of IT.  This is not a major for one off projects, but often these solutions become critical parts of an organization's decisional infrastructure.

WhereScape RED enables these user communities to still rapidly build out solutions, but with the advantage that they are now be built in an environment that can also be maintained and managed.


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