A dimension table is designed with one column serving as a unique primary key. This primary key cannot be the operational system’s natural key because there will be multiple dimension rows for that natural key when changes are tracked over time. In addition, natural keys for a dimension may be created by more than one source system, and these natural keys may be incompatible or poorly administered. The DW/BI system needs to claim control of the primary keys of all dimensions; rather than using explicit natural keys or natural keys with appended dates, you should create anonymous integer primary keys for every dimension. These dimension surrogate keys are simple integers, assigned in sequence, starting with the value 1, every time a new key is needed. The date dimension is exempt from the surrogate key rule; this highly predictable and stable dimension can use a more meaningful primary key.