It looked at one point as though Sybase Inc’s planned OLAP on-line analytical processing engine effort was destined for the crypt, but according to our sister publication Unigram.X, the Highgate project has morphed into an API strategy for supporting SQL Server and IQ high-speed database query tool in addition to third party databases. Apparently users will be able pluck data from relational tables using metadata information and perform OLAP calculations outside of the database itself. There’ll be Java and Windows clients and support for third party tools from Brio, Business Objects and Cognos for the additional OLAP and ROLAP activities not included. One Sybase spokesperson said Highgate should be regarded as middleware layer similar to Information Advantage’s DecisionSuite offering, rather than Oracle’s Express. Highgate will include a virtual caching mechanism and has been co-developed with little known Palo Alto, California-based WhiteLight Systems Inc which is currently in beta with its own Rapid OLAP product line. Whether Rapid OLAP and Sybase OLAP are one and the same, no-one’s saying. Sybase has been working with WhiteLight on Highgate for over two years but the joint development work is not a specific Sybase project. Presumably that means the likes of Oracle and Informix will be able to pick up other versions of the stuff. Oracle already resells WhiteLight’s Engineer object-oriented business modeling software for financial planning , analysis and control. Sybase’s OLAP will be up on NT and Solaris first, with other Unixes to follow.