system of record vs operational database

Just wanted to confirm with the experts here.

If I understand correctly system of records(SORS) is where the data element first appears and is stored.  Operational database or OLTP is where data you manage dynamic data in real time where insert, delete , update can be done in real time.
Now my question is , isn't System of Record and OLTP basically the same? I am bit confused with SORs which is where data first appears but then OLTP system also houses data whenever any inserts, updates, deletes are perfomed.
Who is Participating?
sdstuberConnect With a Mentor Commented:
POS example:

POS collects sales info: items, quantity, price, time, method of payment, discounts applied, etc.

POS is NOT the SOR.

Each day at midnight, POS data is transferred to the "Sales History" database which maintains all of the above information for all sales, for all stores for all time (or as far back as legally required.)

"Sales History" IS the SOR.

Each month, ETL process pulls data from Sales History and loads to Data Warehouse with aggregates of items, stores, discounts etc.  Reporting tables/materialized views are populated with data.  Data cubes are constructed for analysis of sales trends,  event/price/discount impacts and inter-item purchase correlations.

Warehouse is NOT the SOR (mostly)

I add the "mostly" part because some data analysis may be too complicated to run on the SOR directly, thus necessitating the warehouse.  In these cases, the specific results of a Warehouse run may implicitly become the SOR.
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
In my environment the System of Record is the origination point for the data.  It may or may not be an OLTP system.

Maybe the data into my organization is a huge batch feed from another system.  Really not OLTP but still new data.

It is almost always 'Operational' in that some app submitted some data to some database for the first time.

Where OLTP and SORS aren't the same:  Can your SORS not send data to another system  where it is further processed but has no additional data added to the original record?  It can add additional data as it is processed as meta data but not modify the original.
SOR is simply whatever database is the final authority for data.  Where it originated isn't usually a factor.

That might be an OLTP system, it might be a data warehouse, it might be a set of flat files.
A proven path to a career in data science

At Springboard, we know how to get you a job in data science. With Springboard’s Data Science Career Track, you’ll master data science  with a curriculum built by industry experts. You’ll work on real projects, and get 1-on-1 mentorship from a data scientist.

techEverestAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your quick response.I was away so could not get back to this site soon enough. I am not still clear . The SORs are referenced by another system through ETL process and called authoritative source which is the data source that analytical tools such as Cognos, Business objects reporting tools use it to develop reports. For example a point of sale(POS) application at supermarkets, arent they the original source of data thus a SOR as well as the new data inserts every few seconds or minutes are OLTP?
original source and system of record are not the same thing.

so in your example - NO, the POS application is NOT a system of record.

the SOR is the FINAL system, not the first system.
techEverestAuthor Commented:
I cant still understand clearly the SOR. I do understand OLTP system where CRUD operations can be performed. Can you please provide and example for example with scenario such as POS at a store and the backend system where data is stored , the datawarehouse that is populated from OLTP system. At what point and where can we call a system SOR?

slightwv (䄆 Netminder)Connect With a Mentor Commented:
In a nutshell an SOR is what your organization defines it as.  For me I tend to think of them as the first 'permanent' home for a piece of data.  When I mentioned 'origination point for the data' I sort of misspoke.  I sort of meant 'original permanent source'.

To me a POS system captures data real-time and eventually feeds it into a centralized system and once 'confirmed', it is removed from the POS system.  To me that centralized system should the to SOR since it is the first 'permanent' location.

Then the data can be further dispersed to ancillary systems for whatever purposes like marketing, sales, etc...  (your data warehouse).  These ancillary systems are working only on a 'copy' of the data and not the source.

Start with:
techEverestAuthor Commented:
Thanks, these examples helped me understand it well.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.