Dimension Table

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What Does Dimension Table Mean?

A dimension table is a database table referencing defining pieces
of information or attributes for particular records in a primary database table.
Experts may describe a dimension table as part of a “database schema” or a database
conceptual map that shows the logical construction of the database. Typically,
any dimension table has a primary key that links all of the dimension records
to the individual primary records.


Techopedia Explains Dimension Table

The idea with dimension tables is that users can do specific and precise queries to filter and group dimension information for research and business intelligence purposes. The use of a surrogate key helps to join the dimension data to the data from the primary record.

For example, a dimension table may hold certain “measurements” or attributes about a company’s products, such as weight, size, shipping protocol, bar code information or warehouse location information. Enterprise users would then use SQL to search for records meeting particular attributes. In many cases, dimension tables are de-normalized, a process that involves adding redundant data after normalization. De-normalization of dimension tables can be done to reduce the necessity of join commands, or for other purposes.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.