flexible database schema patterns
Posted on 2011-02-21
I have a lot of data for a specific 'thing' from lots of disparate data sources and I'd like to integrate them. I dont want to have to deal with how each source models the domain in question as it is a very complex domain. To have a traditional 3NF denormalised database would require having to remodel the schema every time i wanted to incorporate a new data source and that isn't feasible. I'm thinking of having some sort of data warehouse approach and a reverse star schema with the 'thing' at the middle as the fact and the data from each different source as a dimension so they can keep their own idiosyncracies regarding the domain. It would be a reverse star in the sense that the thing in the middle would have a primary key and the dimensions would have foreign keys which link to the relevant row in the central 'fact' table.
I was wondering if any you esteemed database experts had any comments and/or were aware of any database 'design patterns' or approaches for managing this sort of scenario