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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Reference Dimensions

A reference dimension occurs when the key column for the dimension is joined indirectly to the fact table through a key in another dimension table.  This results in a snowflake schema design.

The following figure shows one fact table named InternetSales, and two dimension tables called Customer (regular or intermediate dimension) and Geography (reference dimension), in a snowflake schema:

Note that for performance reasons, it’s better to not use reference dimensions.  Instead, merge the Geography info into the Customer table (see Denormalizing dimension tables).  So the Customer table would add the fields City, StateProvidinceCode, and StateProvinceName populated by the ETL, resulting in one table.


Posted by Anonymous on 19 November 2011

Pingback from  Reference Dimensions | SQL Server | Syngu

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