|DW architecture||Star schema||Snowflake schema|
Fact constellation schema architecture
For each star schema or snowflake schema it is possible to construct a fact constellation
This schema is more complex than star or snowflake architecture, which is because it contains multiple fact tables. This allows dimension tables to be shared amongst many fact tables.
That solution is very flexible, however it may be hard to manage and support.
The main disadvantage of the fact constellation schema is a more complicated design because many variants of aggregation must be considered.
In a fact constellation schema, different fact tables are explicitly assigned to the dimensions, which are for given facts relevant. This may be useful in cases when some facts are associated with a given dimension level and other facts with a deeper dimension level.
Use of that model should be reasonable when for example, there is a sales fact table (with details down to the exact date and invoice header id) and a fact table with sales forecast which is calculated based on month, client id and product id.
In that case using two different fact tables on a different level of grouping is realized through a fact constellation model.
An example of a constellation schema architecture is depicted below.