Lars Rönnbäck, Olle Regardt, Maria, Petia, and I have written a paper on a novel approach to database modeling, called anchor modeling. Lars and Olle, who work at Affecto, have developed this approach for some years now and they have applied it in several industrial projects. In the paper, we formalised, assessed, and evaluated anchor modeling. The paper was accepted at ER 2009.
Maintaining and evolving data warehouses is a complex, error prone, and time consuming activity. The main reason for this state of affairs is that the environment of a data warehouse is in constant change, while the warehouse itself needs to provide a stable and consistent interface to information spanning extended periods of time. In this paper, we propose a modeling technique for data warehousing, called anchor modeling, that offers non-destructive extensibility mechanisms, thereby enabling robust and flexible management of changes in source systems. A key benefit of anchor modeling is that changes in a data warehouse environment only require extensions, not modifications, to the data warehouse. This ensures that existing data warehouse applications will remain unaffected by the evolution of the data warehouse, i.e. existing views and functions will not have to be modified as a result of changes in the warehouse model.