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Go Lap Database

Go Lap Database

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OLAP Option to the Oracle10
 g 
Database
Support for large multidimensional data sets and SQL access optimizations 
 
Bud Endress, Oracle Corporation  Anthony Waite, Oracle Corporation 
E
XECUTIVE
S
UMMARY 
 
Oracle9
Release 2 was the first, and is still the only, relational-multidimensional database. As a relational-multidimensional database, it combined a relational engine and relational data types with a full-featuredmultidimensional engine and multidimensional data types. The concept was simple – retain the advantages of amultidimensional database, solve the problems associated with stand-alone multidimensional databases and leveragethe scalable, secure and resilient platform offered by the Oracle Database. Advantages of multidimensional databases are compelling. They include support for advanced multidimensionalcalculations and planning functions, a transaction model suitable for what-if analysis and modeling, and a dimensionaldata model that simplifies the task of defining calculations and expressing queries. Multidimensional databases arealso known for excellent query response times. Although the advantages of multidimensional databases are convincing, there are also numerous problems associated with stand-alone multidimensional databases. As compared with mature relational databases such as Oracle, they lack robust disaster recovery and high availability capabilities. Their security apparatus is immature. They typically replicate data already in the data warehouse. They required specialized query and reporting tools. And so on. The net result is that stand-alone multidimensional databases are typically an adjunct to the data warehouse rather thanbeing part of the core data warehouse. After all, stand-alone multidimensional databases replicate small subsets of thedata warehouse and they can't support the SQL based tools used to query the data warehouse. In order to beconsidered part of the data warehouse, multidimensional databases would need to provide support for very large datasets and query by SQL based tools. The OLAP option to the Oracle9
Release 2 Database completely changed the multidimensional database market. It isnot a stand-alone multidimensional database. Instead, a multidimensional engine and multidimensional data types were quite literally introduced into the kernel of the Oracle Database. The multidimensional technology shares thesame platform as the relational technology. It is highly secure. It has mature high availability and disaster recovery features. It supports SQL as an interface to multidimensional data types.Oracle OLAP multidimensional data is a first class data type in the Oracle Database. It is managed by the Oracledatabase management system, stored in Oracle data files and is accessible by SQL. As a result of this nativeintegration of the multidimensional data type, it is no longer necessary to host the OLAP data in a stand-alonemultidimensional database and OLAP data can now be considered an integral part of the data warehouse. The OLAP option to the Oracle10
 g 
database focuses on the primarily issues affecting the status of multidimensionaldata types within the data warehouse: scalability and the ability to support SQL as a query language. Oracle10
 g 
OLAPalso offers new analytic opportunities and includes enhancements to the OLAP API.Oracle10
 g 
provides support for features such as partitioned multidimensional data types, and parallelism within thecube building and aggregation process. The SQL interface has been significantly enhanced to optimize support for abroader use of the SQL language when querying multidimensional data types. The result is the ability to efficiently manage very large multidimensional data sets and to support a wide range of SQL based tools and applications.
OLAP Option to the Oracle10
 g 
Database 1
 
 A 
UDIENCE
 
 This paper discusses a subset of the new features and enhancement that are included in the OLAP option to theOracle10
 g 
Database. The intended audience is database administrators and developers who are familiar with either theOLAP option the to the Oracle9
Database or its predecessor product, Oracle Express Server. This paper might alsobe useful to organizations that are considering the use of the OLAP option since it provides insight into futuredirections for the product.
 A B
RIEF
O
 VERVIEW OF THE
OLAP O
PTION
 
If you are not familiar with the OLAP option, this section will provide a brief overview of its capabilities andarchitecture.
OLAP API
 The OLAP API is an object-oriented Java application programming interface. It provides a multidimensional objectmodel, and a broad range of classes and methods, that allow application to easily select, navigate and calculatemultidimensional data. The OLAP API, being a very powerful but low level API, is primarily targeted to the ISV community. It is occasionally used by IT organizations, however they usually develop to higher level interfaces suchas those provided by the Oracle Business Intelligence Beans.
M
ULTIDIMENSIONAL
E
NGINE AND
D
 ATA 
 T
 YPES
 
 The multidimensional engine and data types provide support for complex, multidimensional calculations and planning functions. The multidimensional engine provides support for a wide range of functions such as non-additiveaggregation methods, time series calculations, indices, statistical functions, and many other analytic functions. It offersexception support for planning applications that require features such as forecasting and allocations. Also in supportof planning applications, the multidimensional engine supports a 'read-repeatable' transaction model. This transactionmodel allows multiple users to simultaneously engage in what-if analysis sessions where they can make session levelchanges to both the data and the data dictionary. The multidimensional engine utilizes array based data structures known as
variables 
for data storage. These variablesare true multidimensional data types stored in Oracle data files. They are very efficient in terms of data storage andquery performance. The multidimensional engine provides a dimensionally aware calcuation language known as the
OLAP DML 
. This isa procedural programming language that can be used to express various types of calculations, design custom analyticfunctions, and control the data loading and calculation processes related to multidimensional data types. The OLAPDML is accessible through SQL and PL/SQL, as well as the OLAP Worksheet client tool A collection of multidimensional data types and OLAP DML programming code is stored in an
analytic workspace 
  within the database. An analytic workspace has two basic purposes. First, it is a container for a collection of multidimensional data types within a schema. Second, it plays a role in defining the scope of a read-repeatabletransaction (or, in other words, the boundaries of a what-if session).
SQL I
NTERFACE
 
 The multidimensional engine and the object technology of the Database support a SQL interface to multidimensionaldata types. At the core of the SQL interface to multidimensional data types is OLAP_TABLE, a table function. Therole of OLAP_TABLE is to pass SQL to the multidimensional engine, transform parts of a SQL statement to OLAPDML commands and return data from the multidimensional engine as a row set to the relational engine. The SQL interface to multidimensional data types can be made transparent to the SQL application by creating a view that selected from OLAP_TABLE. While certain applications might prefer specific style views, views that make theanalytic workspace appear as a star schema to a SQL application are common. Also common are views that combineboth dimension data (members, descriptions, hierarchical and attribute data) and fact data in a single denormalized view. OLAP_TABLE can also be selected from without using views, thus providing applications with the opportunity to interact with the multidimensional engine from within a select statement.
OLAP Option to the Oracle10
 g 
Database 2
 
 The following example illustrates how a fact view of a star schema might be created and queried. First, an abstractdata types are created and then the view is defined. The abstract data types define the columns and data types to therelational engine. The CREATE VIEW statement binds the abstract data type to the analytic workspace and mapscolumns to multidimensional data types.Oracle10
 g 
 
create type sales_type_row as object (time_id varchar2(5),channel_id varchar2(5),product_id varchar2(5),customer_id varchar2(5),sales number,units number,extended_cost number,forecast_sales number,olap_calc raw(32));create type sales_type_table as table of sales_type_row;create or replace view sales_view asselect *from table(OLAP_TABLE('global DURATION session','sales_type_table','','DIMENSION time_id FROM timeDIMENSION channel_id FROM channelDIMENSION product_id FROM productDIMENSION customer_id FROM customerMEASURE sales FROM salesMEASURE units FROM unitsMEASURE extended_cost FROM extended_costMEASURE forecast_sales FROM fcast_salesROW2CELL olap_calc'));
 The structure of a SELECT statement that selects from OLAP_TABLE is relatively simple and tends to be similaracross different analytic workspaces and for use by different types of applications. There are arguments toOLAP_TABLE that define the analytic workspace (GLOBAL, in this case), that bind the query to an abstract datatype and that map relational columns define in the abstract data types to multidimensional data types in the analytic workspace. The view could then be queried with a SELECT statement such as:
select time_id,channel_id,product_id,customer_id,salesfrom sales_viewwhere time_id = '2003'and channel_id = 'CATALOG'and product_id in ('GUNS','LIPSTICK')and customer_id = 'TEXAS';
OLAP Option to the Oracle10
 g 
Database 3

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