What Is the OLAP Option to the Oracle Database 10g?
The OLAP option supports multidimensional analysis within the Oracle Business Intelligence product line. The OLAP option provides a complete multidimensional database embedded within the Oracle database. It includes a full-featured multidimensional calculation engine, multidimensional data types, a multidimensional interface for dimensional modeling and querying, and a SQL interface to multidimensional data types. The multidimensional interface for query also supports access to relational tables for relational OLAP (ROLAP) deployments.

The OLAP option to the Oracle database is completely embedded within the Oracle database. The multidimensional engine runs within the Oracle database process and multidimensional data is stored in Oracle data files. As part of the Oracle database, the OLAP option utilizes administrative, security, and high availability features of the database. The OLAP option is also fully compatible with Real Application Clusters and Grid Computing.

Need for OLAP
The OLAP option to the Oracle database is the foundation of dimensional analysis within Oracle Business Intelligence. It supports OracleBI Discoverer Plus OLAP, OracleBI Spreadsheet Add-in, OracleBI Beans, as well as third-party business intelligence tools and applications.

The OLAP option provides support for advanced analytic features, such as nonadditive aggregations, allocations, forecasts, financial models, and ad hoc calculations. The dimensional model presents data in easy-to-understand business terms and allows applications to easily define complex dimensional queries and computations.

The OLAP option can provide significant performance advantages to dimensionally modeled applications. It offers excellent query performance for ad-hoc query environments where users query data in unpredictable patterns and define their own calculations. In addition, the OLAP option can significantly reduce the time needed to prepare data for ad hoc query by efficiently managing calculations such as data summarization and ad-hoc calculations. The result is more timely access to fresh data and excellent end user query performance.

Analytic Workspace
An analytic workspace contains data that is organized by using a multidimensional data model and stored in Oracle multidimensional data types. An analytic workspace typically contains data organized by subject matter. For example, an analytic workspace might contain data related to sales and marketing data, financial data, or human resources data.

Most analytic workspaces contain several stored measures plus any number of dynamic calculations defined by a database administrator, application developer, or end user. These measures (facts) are organized by dimensions that may include hierarchies and attributes. Analytic workspaces contain both detailed and summary-level data.

Performance advantages and calculation capabilities of the OLAP Option are applicable to both small and very large data sets. As a result, analytic workspaces are appropriate for both departmental and enterprise applications. Features such as partitioning, parallelism, and sophisticated sparsity management capabilities support very large multidimensional data sets.

Managing Analytic Workspaces
Analytic Workspaces are easy to create and manage. The line-of-business power user, departmental database administrator, and IT database administrator can use Analytic Workspace Manager to define the multidimensional model, to manage data loading, and to define multidimensional calculations. Analytic Workspace Manager is designed for the non-IT professional and puts multidimensional modeling and analytic workspaces within easy reach of a wide variety of users. Analytic Workspace Manager is a completely GUI environment. No coding is required to create and manage an analytic workspace.

OracleBI Warehouse Builder brings the power of a full featured ETL system to the process of creating and managing analytic workspaces. Warehouse Builder can be used to define a complete ETL process, from source data to finished analytic workspace. Warehouse Builder can deploy a data model and data directly to an analytic workspace without requiring the first staging data in relational data types, which is a direct benefit of the OLAP option as an integrated component of the Oracle database. As a result, Warehouse Builder offers both simplified administration and streamlined performance for the IT professional who manages analytic workspaces.


The OLAP option is available in Oracle database. Analytic Workspace Manager is available with the Oracle database client.