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OLAP - Star Schema - How to?

Consider 2 tables that I want to incorporate somehow into an OLAP solution.

Customers (Customer Name, Age, StoreLocation, CurrentBalance)
One Row for each Customer
John Doe, 35, Modesto, $0

Customer Invoice(Customer Name, Period, AmountPurchase, AmountPaid, PurchaseType)
One Row  for each period  the customer made purchase or payment.

John Doe,  May2004,    $95.00,        $0,  Camping Gear
John Doe, June2004,           $0, $95.00,  Payment
John Doe,  Sep2007,  $505.00,        $0,  Bicycle
John Doe,  Dec2007,           $0,    $505,  Payment

So I have a typical One to Many type relationship but I want to put this into an OLAP.  
Beside the dimensions like Period, PurchaseType: PurchaseType don't I want to take the above 2 tables and put them into a single fact table?

Customer Name, Age, StoreLocation, CurrentBalance, May2004Purchase, May2004PurchaseType ...

Could be a very wide flat table that becomes the fact table.  How do you model this kind of table.
If the customer has been doing business for many years I could run out of columns.



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michaelrobertfrench
Asked:
michaelrobertfrench
1 Solution
 
srnarCommented:
Desing constraints are domain of Olap tools. You don't mention which Olap tool you are going to use. For example in Microsoft Analysis Services 2005 I would model above situation fully normalized (Invoce = Sales fact table, Customer = Dimension table - intermediate dimension for a potential [Customer store] dimension etc.)

The only exception for denormalization would be in case where there is very rich Snow flake model on very big dimensions where processing of would take long time.

Imagine - the denormalization takes also processing time and can suffer all developer errors.
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michaelrobertfrenchAuthor Commented:
thanks
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