Peace in Our OLAP Time

Michael Vizard

One of the things IT professionals can usually count on in the way of entertainment is a series of bombastic pronouncements that emanate from the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference. But invariably something really substantive finds its way through all the fuss and bother, and this year's event is no exception.

Oracle used OpenWorld to announce a strategic alliance with Simba Technologies that will allow IT organizations to build an application using the MDX language that Microsoft developed for its OLAP engine against the OLAP engine built by Oracle. Oracle has steadfastly refused to directly support MDX, instead preferring to extend SQL as the primary development language for accessing its OLAP engine.

But Microsoft has managed to gain the support of companies such as SAP, Infor IBM and even Hyperion, which was acquired by Oracle. In addition, Microsoft has been extending its OLAP and MDX technologies into the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, as you can see below, to add momentum.

For an IT organization, the alliance between Oracle and Simba creates a way to develop an OLAP application using MDX without ultimately having to worry abut whether the OLAP engine of one of the major database vendors in the market will support that application. At the same time, it gives Oracle a way to make customers happy without having to directly endorse Microsoft.

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