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OLAP Theory RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm trying to understand OLAP theory, especially with respect to allowing updates.  I get that it's multidimensional, enterprisey and all that, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot on the 'net that talks about OLAP without being intertwined with some OLAP product.  Perhaps I've just been using the wrong search terms.  What I'd like is something like this, which I've written up myself: https://ids.breuer.com/ds/1427 .  People say to "not reinvent the wheel", but equally as bad is not understanding the wheel!  To quote some IBM folks,

    Yet, there is enough evidence within the IT profession to conclude that OLAP is still a poorly understood IT solution. When it is implemented, this is often done because it happens to be available, it is new, it seems to work and/or it is sufficiently easy to apply in some form or fashion. Rarely is it implemented because of a deep understanding that it is in fact the most appropriate solution.

    So, what I'm looking for is discussion of the problems OLAP is designed to solve, especially along the lines of what my company has termed matrices.
    Tuesday, June 20, 2006 6:51 PM

Answers

  • Take a look at the OLAP Report web-site (some sections are subscriber-only) for a discussion:

    http://www.olapreport.com/fasmi.htm

    >>

    What is OLAP?

    An analysis of what the often misused OLAP term is supposed to mean

    MULTIDIMENSIONAL is our key requirement. If we had to pick a one-word definition of OLAP, this is it. The system must provide a multidimensional conceptual view of the data, including full support for hierarchies and multiple hierarchies, as this is certainly the most logical way to analyze businesses and organizations. We are not setting up a specific minimum number of dimensions that must be handled as it is too application dependent and most products seem to have enough for their target markets. Again, we do not specify what underlying database technology should be used providing that the user gets a truly multidimensional conceptual view.

    >>

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006 1:32 AM
  • Since you're researching OLAP theory rather than any specific product, you might wish to try the comp . databases . olap  or comp . databases . theory   public newsgroups.
    Thursday, June 22, 2006 10:42 PM

All replies

  • Take a look at the OLAP Report web-site (some sections are subscriber-only) for a discussion:

    http://www.olapreport.com/fasmi.htm

    >>

    What is OLAP?

    An analysis of what the often misused OLAP term is supposed to mean

    MULTIDIMENSIONAL is our key requirement. If we had to pick a one-word definition of OLAP, this is it. The system must provide a multidimensional conceptual view of the data, including full support for hierarchies and multiple hierarchies, as this is certainly the most logical way to analyze businesses and organizations. We are not setting up a specific minimum number of dimensions that must be handled as it is too application dependent and most products seem to have enough for their target markets. Again, we do not specify what underlying database technology should be used providing that the user gets a truly multidimensional conceptual view.

    >>

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006 1:32 AM
  • Thanks for taking time to respond, but if you had checked out what I linked above (https://ids.breuer.com/ds/1427), you'd see that I had already read the OLAP Report website.  The problem is that "dimension" is never defined well there; this indicates a broader problem: the folks at the OLAP report seem to assume that one knows quite a bit about OLAP already!  This has been my problem, and is why I made this post.  Moreover, I am particularly curious about updatable OLAP, which does not seem to be covered in much depth at the OLAP Report website, especially more theory-oriented information, such as what I linked to (e.g. what I've written up on the subject).
    Thursday, June 22, 2006 9:51 PM
  • Since you're researching OLAP theory rather than any specific product, you might wish to try the comp . databases . olap  or comp . databases . theory   public newsgroups.
    Thursday, June 22, 2006 10:42 PM