So the last few weeks have been pretty enlightening. After having talked to a couple of DBAs as well as having the pleasure of sitting through the opening pitches of a "Data Mastery" consulting firm it has become apparent to me that I think of IT in a very Application Centric view point. To clarify this, I believe that all things are first and foremost subservient to the business but the level after that is the application and then the database.
It is my opinion that the application is central to the idea of a development project. If you want data out of the application you don't get it from the database, you get it from the applicaiton's (web) services. That is also how you push external data in. In this way there is a defined contract for all data that the application needs to know about.
If my application needs to talk to your application then it talks to my App's services.
A data warehouse is just another application that has a shit ton of data in its database and it exposes its data for reports via web services or maybe even data marts.
Don't touch my database. If you do, I *will* punch you in the junk. All of my apps say this.
Now I have heard that data is a business asset. Well, so are the business processes. The biggest difference is that the data doesn't usually change, but you can be damn sure that the businesses processes are going to so they better be able to change.