What is the general difference between OLTP and Inmon-style Datawarehouse? It seems like they are the same. OLTP just copies all the tables into a Read-Only Datawarehouse DB.

I know what a Kimball datawarehouse is (denormalized, wide with surrogate identifier). Inmon is more normalized.

2 Answers 2


The difference is more to the subject of the database than anything else. By the way, Inmon approach focus on normalizing as much as possible to make the ETL process easier and less error-prone; but non-normalized data are acceptable on data marts, even to Inmon.

OLTP: it is a full normalized database (commonly on 3NF) focused on a specific application. Usually, the data changes are small and happen on the row level.

Inmon DW: this is the central information database for the whole organization. The modeling is focused on business needs and this database centralize all the information from every system in your organization. IE: you can have Customer information in many of your systems, where each system brings you a complementary information. Following the Inmon approach, you have to have only one Customer entity on the DW, and this entity will have all the information from every system, in a conformed way (so it is not only copying tables, you should efficiently relate data from different systems inside your DW). Comparing with the Kimball approach, where classifications (hierarchies) can be simple columns in a dimension table, Inmon would create separate tables to "normalize" this info and make the ETL process easier.


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OLTP is Online Transaction Processing. Any system that helps to do transactions or record data changes over online is called OLTP. I believe it is not necessary to compare it with the Data warehouse where the data is stored over long time for the purpose of doing analysis.

You might have tried to ask for OLAP. i guess.

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