Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2009 Edition

Star Schema

  • Konstantinos Morfonios
  • Yannis Ioannidis
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_888



A star schema has one “central” table whose primary key is compound, i.e., consisting of multiple attributes. Each one of these attributes is a foreign key to one of the remaining tables. Such a foreign key dependency exists for each one of these tables, while there are no other foreign keys anywhere in the schema. (In the above, without loss of generality, the assumption is made that all these other tables have simple primary keys. This is usually the case in almost all practical situations, as for efficiency, these keys are typically generated surrogate keys.)

Key Points

Most data warehouses that represent the multidimensional conceptual data model in a relational fashion [1,2] store their primary data as well as the data cubes derived from it in star schemas. The “central” table and the remaining tables of the definition above correspond, respectively, to the fact table and the dimension tables that are typically found in data warehouses. Each fact...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Chaudhuri S. and Dayal U. An overview of data warehousing and OLAP technology. ACM SIGMOD Rec., 26(1):65–74, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kimball R. and Ross M. The data warehouse toolkit: The complete guide to dimensional modeling. Wiley, New York, NY, USA, 2nd edn., 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos Morfonios
    • 1
  • Yannis Ioannidis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AthensAthensGreece