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Data Structures in SQL Server Analysis Services
Part one of a four-part series of blogs

This series of blogs introduces the basic data structures for storing data, including OLTP and OLAP databases.

  1. Types of Data Storage Structures (this blog)
  2. Comparison of the Two Storage Methods
  3. Cubes in SQL Server Analysis Services
  4. Summary of Jargon in SQL Server Analysis Services

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 May 2011

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Types of Data Storage Structures

There are two main types of storage structure used in the database world: relational databases and multi-dimensional models.

 Relational Databases

The following is a sample relational database of films, containing 3 tables:

Three relational database tables

Relational databases are good at fast, day-to-day transactions: entering, editing and deleting records one at a time.

Unified Dimensional Model (UDM)

Another way to look at the same data is dimensionally:

Diagram of cube with two dimensions

Here the dimensions are;

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