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Sergio Luján Mora

Catedrático de Universidad

A UML Based Approach for Modeling ETL Processes in Data Warehouses

Juan Trujillo, Sergio Luján-Mora
22nd International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER 2003), p. 307-320: Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2813, Chicago (USA), October 13-16 2003.
(ER'2003) Congreso internacional / International conference


Data warehouses (DWs) are complex computer systems whose main goal is to facilitate the decision making process of knowledge workers. ETL (Extraction-Transformation-Loading) processes are responsible for the extraction of data from heterogeneous operational data sources, their transformation (conversion, cleaning, normalization, etc.) and their loading into DWs. ETL processes are a key component of DWs because incorrect or misleading data will produce wrong business decisions, and therefore, a correct design of these processes at early stages of a DW project is absolutely necessary to improve data quality. However, not much research has dealt with the modeling of ETL processes. In this paper, we present our approach, based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML), which allows us to accomplish the conceptual modeling of these ETL processes together with the conceptual schema of the target DW in an integrated manner. We provide the necessary mechanisms for an easy and quick specification of the common operations defined in these ETL processes such as, the integration of different data sources, the transformation between source and target attributes, the generation of surrogate keys and so on. Moreover, our approach allows the designer a comprehensive tracking and documentation of entire ETL processes, which enormously facilitates the maintenance of these processes. Another advantage of our proposal is the use of the UML (standardization, ease-of-use and functionality) and the seamless integration of the design of the ETL processes with the DW conceptual schema. Finally, we show how to use our integrated approach by using a well-known modeling tool such as Rational Rose.