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Taken from my book SQL Server interview questions http://www.flipkart.com/sql-server-interviewquestions-8183331033/p/itmdyuqz2a6tzhjw?pid=9788183331036&ref=18a53f02-8ad3-4a9a-b79cf34ad0f80605&srno=m_1_2&otracker=from-search. Let first quickly run through full forms. ROLAP stands for Relational Online Analytical Processing, MOLAP stands for Multidimensional Online Analytical Processing and HOLAP stands for Hybrid Online Analytical Processing. When we talk about BI it has two kinds of data, one is the actual data and other is the aggregated data. For instance you can see in the below table we have customer name, quantity, per price and total amount. In this case the total amount column is a derived or aggregated data while all the other fields are actual data (detail data).
Customer name Shiv Raju Quantity 10 5 Per price 100 10 Total amount 1000 50
ROLAP, MOLAP and HOLAP define storage structure for Business intelligence. It defines how the actual (detail) data and aggregated data are stored. ROLAP stores data and aggregated data in relational format. So in this case query performance is low and also latency is low. Low latency means you get aggregated/calculated data instantly. MOLAP stores data in cubes i.e. multi-dimensional format. It uses facts, measures and dimension table structure to form a cube (read the previous question for cubes). Multi-dimensional database design format is optimized for better query performance. So the performance is much better as compared to ROLAP but the latency is high. The latency is high in MOLAP because it needs to fetch data from relational database (operational data), do calculations / aggregations / and convert the relational structure data to cube structure data. HOLAP is a hybrid approach. It’s a combination of MOLAP and ROLAP. HOLAP stores detail data in to relational database i.e. (ROLAP) and the aggregated data is stored in to MOLAP (cubes). Due to this approach query is faster than ROLAP but not as fast as MOLAP. Latency is less than MOLAP but higher than ROLAP.
Below is comparison summary table.
Storage structure Relational Cubes Relational + Cubes Query performance Low High Medium Latency Low High Low
ROLAP MOLAP HOLAP
In case you are fresher to SSIS, SSAS and SSRS you can start seeing our step by step videos from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_Ae3suaL-U Do not forget to see our SQL Server interview question videos from www.questpond.com