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STAR Transformation Queries

Question: What is the difference between a "STAR query" and "STAR transformation query" in Oracle?
A "star query" and a "star transformation query" are both terms used within the context of Oracle databases, specifically when working with star schemas in a data warehousing environment. These terms refer to different aspects of query execution within Oracle.
  1. Star Query: A star query is a specific type of query that retrieves data from a star schema. It typically involves a join between a large fact table at the center of the star and several smaller dimension tables. Star queries are commonly used in data warehousing and business intelligence applications for complex, ad-hoc analytical queries.
  2. Star Transformation Query: Star transformation is a process or an optimization method applied by the Oracle query optimizer to execute a star query more efficiently. This technique transforms the original star query into a set of simpler queries that can be executed independently, and their results are then combined. This transformation allows the database to leverage bitmap indexes on the fact table's foreign key columns, significantly speeding up query execution.

In a star transformation, Oracle creates a temporary bitmap for each dimension table based on the predicates in the WHERE clause of the query. It then merges these bitmaps using a bitmap AND operation to identify the rows in the fact table that satisfy all the conditions. Finally, it retrieves the needed data from the fact table based on this bitmap, and performs any remaining operations, such as grouping or aggregation.
In summary, a star query is a type of query used in star schemas, while a star transformation refers to an optimization technique that Oracle uses to efficiently execute star queries. By understanding both concepts, one can leverage the power of Oracle's query optimizer to improve the performance of data retrieval operations in a data warehousing environment.
Utilize the Star Schema to leverage Star Query Transformation
  1. Oracle optimizer prunes a query's results set with its conversion of many logical joins into a single operation with Bitmap Indexes
  2. Bitmap Indexes are up to 100 times smaller in size and hence up to 100 times faster
  3. Bitmaps are not just for low cardinality
  4. Central table in a star schema is called a FACT table
  5. A fact table typically has two types of columns: 1) those that contain facts and 2) those that are foreign keys to dimension tables
  6. In a star schema every dimension will have a primary key
  7. In a star schema, a dimension table will not have any parent table
  8. Whereas in a snow flake schema, a dimension table will have one or more parent tables