Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Snowflake Schema

  • Konstantinos MorfoniosEmail author
  • Yannis IoannidisEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_889


Snowflake join schema


Asnowflake 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, which may, in turn, have some of its non-key attributes each be a foreign key to yet another, different table. This continues recursively with the remaining tables, until they are exhausted, forming chains or trees of foreign key dependencies rooted at the “central” table, i.e., each table in the schema (except the “central” table) is pointed to by exactly one such foreign key. (In the above, without loss of generality, we make the assumption that all tables except the “central” table have simple primary keys. This is usually the case in almost all practical situations, and as for efficiency, these keys are often generated, surrogate keys.)

Key Points

Many data warehouses (see definitional entry for “ Data Warehouse”) that represent the multidimensional...

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Recommended Reading

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

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OracleRedwood CityUSA
  2. 2.University of AthensAthensGreece

Section editors and affiliations

  • Torben Bach Pedersen
    • 1
  • Stefano Rizzi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.DISIUniv. of BolognaBolognaItaly