OLAP: The case for a new strategy, a new product

OLAP: The case for a new strategy, a new product

Post by Manoj K Jh » Sat, 13 Jan 1996 04:00:00

It is clear from a survey of users and products ( see the OLAP report by Nigel
Pendse, et al ) that no single product is geared towards all application
environments.  In addition, the technology, the architecture and the design
focus on a particular feature or a group of features ( see report by E. F. Codd
), as a result making the product ill-suited for generic use.  
        The following is based on a survey done by Manoj Jha and Surya Narayana on
OLAP towards finding a better solution.
        Clearly, there are limitations to what performance and functionality can be
provided due to the constraints on hardware, network, CPU, etc. This causes the
vendors to exploit on a few grounds of the system thereby weakening the
performance of the others.
        What we have arrived at is a concept of multi-level, comprehensive
configurability of the OLAP system ( including hardware and software ) towards
achieving the maximum user satisfaction in terms of the FASMI definition.
        Multi-level: This refers to global, local, user-level and transaction-level
configurabiliity of several parameters of the OLAP system.
        Comprehensive: The full set of features which can be configurable range from
hardware, network, RDBMS, MDD, database(s), stastical analyses and several
others which are specific to an OLAP application; and many times is specific to
the application.

        By designing the product to be able to make intelligent choices and to be able
to optimize based on the demands of the users, the OLAP system takes full
advantage of the machine and database strengths and weaknesses to provide the
maximum satisfaction to users.

        The list of configurable options given below is by no means an exhaustive one,
but more to illustrate the idea.  Your comments are welcome.

        Some configurable options:

        Memory: This is primarily limited by the hardware/OS; however, several RDBMS
server parameters related to memory ( e.g. distributed memory, data cache size,
procedure cache size ) can be configured.

        Speed : This will be a scale of values reflecting the users' expectation of
the response time.
        Multi-Processor, MPP Capability: This will influence the scalability  of the
        Parallel Query: Can be enabled if RDBMS, and hardware support.
        Database configuration: The option of several devices, distribution of data,
database size, creation of summary tables.
        Allow modification Flag: This tells whether data may be modifiable by the OLAP
user on a particular table. This will influence where the table will be
physically located, whether summary statistics can be built, and so on.
        Static table flag: This will indicate whether the user is interested in data
real-time or whether the data for analysis can be updated at a preset (
configurable ) time interval.
        Maximum number of dimensions: This will help the OLAP engine optimize disk
space, and device configuration.
        Types of analyses: The product optimizer should be able to recognize the
different statistical analyses ( e.g. Data distribution, ANOVA, regression,
time series, ) make an estimation of the resources required, evaluate the best
strategy for each kind of analyses.
        Granularity: This lets the user decide ( particularly for large tables ) the
level of granularity of the data that they would want to see ( output to graph.


1. New Mailing Lists: exploring CASE, Unix, and Desktop products

At the recent International Oracle Users Week conference in San Francisco
it was suggested that someone set up an Internet accessible mailing list
for discussing specific topics related to the following interests:
   Oracle under UNIX
   CASE tools with Oracle, or the Oracle CASE tools
   Oracle with desktop (PC DOS, Macintosh, OS/2) computers

I distributed an announcement to this effect at IOUW and received
some good feedback and a good response rate.  I am in the process of
setting up a list server under Unix here - in the meantime I will
maintain the list by hand.  

These lists will also eventually reflect a digest (software compliments

be considered the preferred means of accessing the Usenet portion of
these lists.

To join one or more of these topic areas, please send an electronic

you wish to join:

   ora-digest              comp.databases.oracle Digest (daily)
   ora-iouw                information about IOUW93 in Orlando FL USA
   ora-desk                Desktop product information & discussion
   ora-unix                Oracle under UNIX operating systems
   ora-case                Oracle CASE products & other CASE products

Replying to this note will come to the correct address - I hope.

I hope this will be of service.



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2. Support Group Database Program Sought

3. New product, DSP - OLAP client fully integrated with MS Outlook


5. ContourCube - new OLAP product

6. 18036-OH-CINCINNATI-ORACLE-Relational Database-C-Client/Server-Programmer/Analyst

7. OLAP@Work Ships new object model for Microsoft OLAP

8. Warnings on Pull Subscription via Script for Merge Replication

9. kyduke(kyduke@yahoo.com)'s New Logic - New sorting, New paging method

10. New New New