MicroStrategy embraces OLAP

MicroStrategy has gotten a lot of mileage out of its relational OLAP capabilities (ROLAP), which let it create multidimensional tables based on relational database sources, more or less on the fly.

Last week, however, the BI stalwart reached out to conventional OLAP constituents. Ahead of its annual user conference, held this week in Miami, MicroStrategy announced an upcoming maintenance release of its version 8 BI suite will be able to access multidimensional data sources including Microsoft's SQL Server Analysis Services and Hyperion's Essbase OLAP engine.

The idea, officials say, is to enable customers to report against, analyze, and monitor both relational and multidimensional data sources--all from within the MicroStrategy platform. In this sense, MicroStrategy 8's new OLAP connectivity doesn't so much replace its bread-and-butter ROLAP capabilities as complement them by hooking into non-MicroStrategy OLAP sources.

MicroStrategy's new OLAP connectivity is powered by a Multidimensional Expressions engine that generates dynamic MDX syntax, which is in turn consumable by MDX-compliant data sources such as SQL Server AS and Essbase.

The next release of MicroStrategy 8 will be available in the first quarter of 2006, the company says. Click here for more info.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a contributing editor. He can be reached at [email protected].