Friday, August 03, 2007

11g OLAP – Hot Pluggable Performance Booster…

Over the last few weeks there have been a lot of headlines, articles and blog posts regarding the 11g release of the database. From the point of BI, this release does have a lot to offer. Most importantly (from my point of view) the multi-dimensional model will finally move beyond the current use cases and evolve into a hot a pluggable performance booster. Here is a direct quote from Charles Rozwat, Oracle executive VP for server technologies:

Oracle's new OLAP features take business intelligence 'from a specialized niche into a much broader market.'

"As data changes in the base data tables, those changes are automatically refreshed to the materialized views stored in the cubes. The bottom line is more automation and a better ability to handle large amounts of data and complex queries with less of an impact on performance."

Andy Mendelson has also been widely quoted regarding his comments on 11g OLAP:

"The big breakthrough here is that we're able to use the OLAP cubes as a transparent performance accelerator inside the database. The users are still happily using their SQL applications, and they won't even know they're using OLAP. We're moving OLAP from a specialized market to a much broader market among all our SQL users."

The end result is a hot pluggable peformance layer than will help improve response times for all SQL reporting products (Discoverer, BI EE, Business Objects, Cognos etc).

I am glad to see that Googling the term “11g OLAP” provides a number of links analysing 11g OLAP . The first link, at the moment anyway, is to Intelligent Enterprise and their posting provides a non-technical overview of the launch. From this site you jump directly to the second link: the 11g OLAP datasheet on OTN. The datasheet can be downloaded from the OLAP home page on OTN, or you can access it directly via this link here.

The real analysis starts with the next two links from Vlamis and Mark Rittman. Rather than repeat everything here I going to link everyone over to these two postings as together they provide the best analysis of what you can expect from 11g OLAP:

The Vlamis blog, provides a lot more detail on the launch and 11g Analytic Workspace Manager. Chris and Dan have been heavily involved with the beta program and their 11g OLAP posting contains links to the actual 11g launch webcast and links to a powerpoint presentation with screenshots of key 11g Analytic Workspace Manager features. You can get to their web site via this link which will take you directly to the posting on 11g OLAP: http://www.vlamis.com/blog.php/?p=27

Mark's posting looks more at the SQL access layer and the new SQL CUBE_TABLE function as well as reviewing more general features of 11g OLAP. You can access Mark's review at:

http://www.rittmanmead.com/2007/05/07/oracle-olap-11g-news-and-the-vlamis-blog/

For those of you wanting to try 11g OLAP the Linux version will be out in August so watch out for the announcement on OTN.