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Pentaho Documentation

Snowflake Schema

A way of arranging tables in a relational database such that the entity relationship diagram resembles a snowflake in shape. At the center of the schema are fact tables which are connected to multiple dimension tables. Thus a snowflake simplifies to a star schema when relatively few dimensions are used. The star and snowflake schemas are most commonly found in data warehouses where the speed of data retrieval is more important than the speed of insertion. As such, these schemas are not normalized much, and are frequently left in third normal form or second normal form.