I know this might be a silly question. But I really appreciate accepting and answering this question.

When I have an OLTP database with some big tables like orders and items. I have other tables (similar to dimension tables in OLAP) where we store reference values, such as: currency, city, category.

What is the proper name for those reference tables? Can we still call them dimension tables in OLTP or do they have their own generic name?

1 Answer 1


A reference table generally loosely fits the definition of a dimension table or sometimes you'll hear the less formal term enum table for reference tables with a unique set of values. I think it's generally fair to use all three terms interchangeably.

Generally when your schema follows the Star Schema or Snowflake Schema, you reference the tables by either the terms fact tables for your measured quantitative values and dimension tables for your qualitative values.

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