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by Burleson Consulting

The Data Warehouse Development Life Cycle

Online Analytical Processing and Oracle
Dr. E. F. (Ted) Codd coined the phrase online analytical processing (OLAP) in a 1993 white paper called Providing OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) to User-Analysts: An IT Mandate. Soon after the publication of this paper, OLAP became the latest buzzword in the database arena and every IS professional struggled to understand OLAP and how it fit into the paradigm of decision support systems (DSS) applications. In addition to defining OLAP, Dr. Codd also went on to create 12 rules for OLAP which are similar in form to Codd’s 12 rules for relational databases. Given the recent popularity of OLAP, it is very easy to view OLAP as a nascent technology. However, OLAP, as defined by Codd, is not a new technology, and some products, such as the IRI Express OLAP engine, have been available for more than 20 years.

As more companies embrace the concept of creating a historical data repository for OLAP and DSS applications, new client/server issues are emerging as developers struggle to create Oracle-based client/server applications. This chapter reviews OLAP with a focus on the various techniques used to interface OLAP applications with Oracle databases.

A great deal of interest has surfaced in the application of data warehousing and multidimensional databases for advanced systems. Advanced systems , such as expert systems and decision support systems have been used for decades to solve semi-structured and even unstructured problems. Traditionally, these types of systems combine inference engines and relational databases in order to store the knowledge processing components, and they have all done these tasks without the benefit of having a huge data warehouse..

The explosive interest in OLAP has fueled the creation of a popular new Internet newsgroup dedicated to OLAP issues. You can find the newsgroup at comp.database.olap

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing". To learn more about Oracle, try "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", by Donald K. Burleson.  You can buy it direct from the publisher at 30% off here:


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