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The Data WarehouseETL Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Extracting, Cleaning, Conforming, and Delivering Data Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The single most authoritative guide on the most difficult phase of building a data warehouse

The extract, transform, and load (ETL) phase of the data warehouse development life cycle is far and away the most difficult, time-consuming, and labor-intensive phase of building a data warehouse. Done right, companies can maximize their use of data storage; if not, they can end up wasting millions of dollars storing obsolete and rarely used data. Bestselling author Ralph Kimball, along with Joe Caserta, shows you how a properly designed ETL system extracts the data from the source systems, enforces data quality and consistency standards, conforms the data so that separate sources can be used together, and finally delivers the data in a presentation-ready format.

Serving as a road map for planning, designing, building, and running the back-room of a data warehouse, this book provides complete coverage of proven, timesaving ETL techniques. Beginning with a quick overview of ETL fundamentals, it then looks at ETL data structures, both relational and dimensional. The authors show how to build useful dimensional structures, providing practical examples of techniques. Along the way you'll learn how to:

  • Plan and design your ETL system
  • Choose the appropriate architecture from the many possible options
  • Build the development/test/production suite of ETL processes
  • Build a comprehensive data cleaning subsystem
  • Tune the overall ETL process for optimum performance

About the Author

RALPH KIMBALL, PhD, founder of the Kimball Group, has been a leading visionary in the data warehousing industry since 1982 and is one of today's best-known speakers and educators. He is the author of several bestselling titles published on data warehousing, including The Data Warehouse Toolkit (Wiley).

JOE CASERTA is the founder of Caserta Concepts, LLC, a data warehousing consulting firm. He writes frequently for print and online magazines, and is an active contributor to DWList, the major online community for data warehousing professionals.


Product Details

  • File Size: 4247 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 10, 2007)
  • Publication Date: December 10, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JAWFE4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,152 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this book Ralph lays down a framework for constructing the DW ETL. This is useful not just in constructing quality ETL processes, but also because Ralph's works tend to 'set' standards in data warehousing. The format of this book is similar to the Lifecycle Toolkit. Ralph takes a very staged, logical approach to the material. Some sections are just great e.g. the chapters on Extraction and Development. A small amount of the material is repeated from the Lifecycle Toolkit and Dimensional Modeling books, but no more than is needed to make this book stand on its own.

Also like the other books, this one takes a vendor agnostic approach. While this may increase the shelf-life of the book, I would have appreciated some comparisons between the major vendors out there today.

Overall: I recommend this one as a buy, even if you have Ralph's other books.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the few references out there providing the building blocks of good ETL design. There is plenty of technical documentation and forums out there that are specific to one ETL tool or DBMS but this is a better starting place for ETL developers. It is required reading as ETL projects often take short cuts in design, data quality and metadata management and reporting. This leads to very expensive Data Warehouse administration costs and often a complete rebuild of load jobs.

The book is relevent for people using most ETL or ELT tools and it will remain relevent for years even as the ETL products continue to advance and mature. It is targeted at DW but the basic flow of Extract, Clean, Conform and Deliver is suitable for most types of data loads.

Good coverage of the alternatives to traditional overnight bulk loads in the section on real-time ETL systems (also describes Microbatch) as the businesses and the major ETL vendors shift to SOA.
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Format: Paperback
This book takes almost all issues in a data warehouse design and represents them oriented to ETL features. Actually, ETLing matches the whole of the data warehouse (more or less), so the need to describe them makes this book an autonomous work you can read without referring to previous books by Kimball. Besides, I think that some technical descriptions have been better performed here: in my experience it is impossible to undertake dwh activities without (at least) a sound knowledge about general features (indexes, use of a bulk loader vs. INSERT, etc.) of RDBMS, and this paper addresses them conveniently. On the other hand, the flat style used lacks to give evidence to the very significant issues, which happen so to be mixed up with less important statements; that demands to pay high attention while reading, but a blurring boundary between subtleties and trivialities seems to be a common shortcoming in dwh literature. Even with that flaw, the ETL Toolkit turn out as an outstanding reference to state of the art of dwh technology.
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Format: Paperback
For a book which has "ETL Toolkit" in the name, I would think this would get right down to the nuts and bolts of how to write an ETL system. Yet, after reading this book, I still have the feeling that I still wouldn't know how to build one. From the book, I know what the issues are about inserting, deleting, and organizing the data, but how does that translate into SQL which actually does the work? There are hardly any SQL or sample code to go by. Issues like dealing with multiple database sources are mentioned, but just what do you do when cities are mentioned in both databases and they don't quite match up? If you decide to roll your own, the book really doesn't give you any basic framework to follow. This book does provide important insights on ETL systems, but don't expect to be able to write one based on this book. For example, you are told to bulk insert data, but you are also expected to exchange all of the natural keys with surrogate keys. If you have to examine each line and exchange keys, you cannot bulk load the data and this ends up being a very CPU intensive process where each row is laboriously examined, exchanged and then inserted one row at a time. This is a very practical ETL difficulty but yet, the book doesn't deal with this problem. It just assumes this won't be a problem for you. In some ways, the book is more about selling you the 'Kimbal' way of data warehouses as other more intuitive ways of constructing a data warehouse are not even considered. Like a sales pitch and a fancy powerpoint presentation, it lacks the substance to actually create a well performing ETL process. That is left as an exercise for the reader.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ralph Kimball has rounded out his complete recipe for building fast, cost effective, robust and durable enterprise dimensional data warehouses with this immensely valuable addition to all IT & Data Warehouse professionals' bookshelves.

Without a doubt ETL has been the biggest stumbling block to deploying and maintaining well architected data warehouses that stand the test of time. Ralph draws on his years of experience and engagement with thousands of projects and crystallizes the `Best Practices' into an effective application architecture for all ETL systems regardless of what tools projects use for implementation.

In this thorough examination of the Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) process, Ralph identifies 38 critical functions that all ETL systems need to implement for success in the long haul. He thoughtfully lays out simple and practical approaches for how each of these functions can be implemented by projects with any size of budget.

For many, the paradoxical nature of ETL (seeming trivial yet replete with endlessly complex details that constantly change) has been the proverbial straw that has broken the bank for many DW projects. Continual customer pressure to grow, improve performance, and quickly deal with changing business conditions have left developers and architects grasping for more powerful and flexible approaches to ETL that meet project timelines, yet evolve and improve with age. Armed with this enlightening roadmap, many DW professionals will be far better equipped to design and build systems that meet the challenges today and tomorrow.
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