Thursday, 15 August 2013

Oracle Essbase &/Vs Oracle Database OLAP

Oracle has two different technologies offering in online analytical processing (OLAP) area namely Oracle Essbase and Oracle Database OLAP.  Are these technologies are complementary? Which one is better?  Why one is better than other? Is there any rule about when Oracle Essbase should be preferred over Database OLAP?  There are many questions; based on my involvement with the number of implementations of Essbase and Oracle Database OLAP technology based solutions I believe there are arguments /reasons against and for both. 

This blog is an attempt to share some of the information on comparison on some of the areas such as Architecture, Data Management Strategy, Typical End Users, Potential Buyer and purpose.

Oracle Essbase 

Oracle Essbase is a multi-dimensional online analytical processing (OLAP) server, providing an environment for effectively developing custom analytic and enterprise performance management applications. By leveraging its self-managed, rapid application development capabilities, business users can quickly model complex business scenarios. For example, line-of-business personnel can simply and rapidly develop and manage analytic applications that can forecast likely business performance levels and deliver "what-if" analyses for varying conditions. Oracle Essbase supports fast query response times for vast numbers of users, large data sets, and complex business models.
In short it is multidimensional database server designed for line of business to perform analytical analysis.

Oracle Database OLAP

Oracle OLAP is a multidimensional analytic engine embedded in Oracle Database 11g. Oracle OLAP cubes deliver sophisticated calculations using simple SQL queries - producing results with a very good response times. This query performance may be leveraged transparently when deploying OLAP cubes as materialized views – enhancing the performance of summary queries against detail relational tables. Because Oracle OLAP is embedded in Oracle Database 11g, it allows centralized management of data and business rules in a secure, scalable and enterprise-ready platform.
Oracle OLAP makes it easy to produce analytic measures, including time-series calculations, financial models, forecasts, allocations, regressions, and more. Hundreds of analytic functions can be easily combined in custom functions to solve nearly any analytic calculation requirement. Oracle OLAP cubes are represented using a star schema design: dimension views form a constellation around the cube (or fact) view. This standard representation of OLAP data makes it easy for any reporting and analysis tool or application - including sophisticated business intelligence solutions, SQL-based development tools and Microsoft Excel - to leverage the power of Oracle OLAP in a simple and productive way.

In short Oracle OLAP is a multidimensional analytic engine embedded in Oracle Database 11g and can leverage existing oracle database features , expertise and software investment.

Oracle Essbase Vs/& Oracle Database OLAP

The Oracle Essbase and Oracle Database OLAP comparison on parameters such as purpose, buyer, End Users, Data Management Strategy and Architecture. 

Oracle Essbase
Oracle Database OLAP Option
BI & analytic applications built and maintained by business analysts.
Accelerate query performance in an Oracle DW
Line of Business (LoB).
Typical End Users
Line of Business users who query and create data within Essbase tools and OLAP applications.
Users of SQL-based business intelligence tools who query data in the database.
Data Management Strategy
Easily combine data from a wide variety of data sources.
Optimized for data in the Oracle database.
OLAP in a server, part of Fusion Middleware
OLAP in the Oracle Database


For In-memory and fusion middleware based business application, Oracle Essbase is a right choice, for In-Database multidimensional analysis , Oracle Database OLAP is a choice. 

I hope you find this information useful.

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