Following Microsoft Corp’s announcement of its own online analytical processing application programming interfaces, OLE DB for OLAP, which seemed to fly in the face of the attempts by the industry group the OLAP Council to establish standard OLAP APIs (CI No 3,246), OLAP Council members appear to be deserting a sinking ship. Seagate Technology Inc’s Seagate Software has announced it will withdraw from the council because it thinks its customers will get more benefit from the company supporting potential de-facto industry standards, such as, surprise, surprise, Microsoft’s OLE DB for OLAP. The company says the OLAP Council has largely succeeded in its original mission of helping establish OLAP in the market place, and it thinks that by backing Microsoft it is hastening the trend to a single open OLAP standard. The business intelligence community has come out pretty much behind Microsoft, but in the OLAP server space, Oracle Corp and Arbor Software Inc have both officially stated they have no plans to support Microsoft’s APIs. Meanwhile, Sybase Inc is working with Microsoft to implement OLE DB for OLAP, and says it will support it in its OLAP-based Highgate project, and Microsoft plans an OLAP server product in 1998. Redmond’s giant seems to understand only too well the concept of the de-facto standard, and how long the OLAP Council will survive now remains to be seen.
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