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Slowly changing dimension

Slowly changing dimensions are a set of data warehouse techniques to deal with history within a dimension.

Dimensions are related to facts and while the facts are basically always transaction oriented with an associated date, a dimension is not. Therefore a dimension may require history as well.

3 basic types exist:

  • Type 1, for which no history is kept,
  • Type 2, for which history is kept for certain columns based on all changes at any time in a source system for individual records and
  • Type 3, for which history is kept for a very limited set of columns based on changes at a certain point in time for a bulk set of records.