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Generally, downstream tools will reference your data in some kind of intermediate form, like SSAS cubes, QlikView QVD files, or simply CSV. But if your downstream tool is hitting the database directly, you can simply create a series of views, one for each roleplaying dimension. Each can be defined as SELECT * FROM Dates. Have Tableau and Excel reference ...


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If at all possible, I would allocate the shipping cost to line items. This would let you assess the actual cost and profit for individual products as accurately as possible. If this is not possible, I second @Jamie's idea of making Shipping a special type of "product." This is discussed by Kimball in The Data Warehouse Toolkit (third edition), page 185, ...



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