InfoCubes are made up of a number of InfoObjects. All InfoObjects (characteristics and key figures) are available independent of the InfoCube. Characteristics refer to master data with their attributes and text descriptions.
An InfoCube consists of several InfoObjects and is structured according to the star schema. This means there is a (large) fact table that contains the key figures for the InfoCube, as well as several (smaller) dimension tables which surround it. The characteristics of the InfoCube are stored in these dimensions.
An InfoCube fact table only contains key figures, in contrast to a DataStore object, whose data part can also contain characteristics. The characteristics of an InfoCube are stored in its dimensions.
The dimensions and the fact table are linked to one another using abstract identification numbers (dimension IDs) which are contained in the key part of the particular database table. As a result, the key figures of the InfoCube relate to the characteristics of the dimension. The characteristics determine the granularity (the degree of detail) at which the key figures are stored in the InfoCube.
Characteristics that logically belong together (for example, district and area belong to the regional dimension) are grouped together in a dimension. By adhering to this design criterion, dimensions are to a large extent independent of each other, and dimension tables remain small with regards to data volume. This is beneficial in terms of performance. This InfoCube structure is optimized for data analysis.
The fact table and dimension tables are both relational database tables.
Characteristics refer to the master data with their attributes and text descriptions. All InfoObjects (characteristics with their master data as well as key figures) are available for all InfoCubes, unlike dimensions, which represent the specific organizational form of characteristics in one InfoCube.
You can create aggregates to access data quickly. Here, the InfoCube data is stored redundantly and in an aggregated form.
You can either use an InfoCube directly as an InfoProvider for analysis and reporting, or use it with other InfoProviders as the basis of a MultiProvider or InfoSet.