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November 6, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

The self-styled standards body for on-line analytical processing, the OLAP Council, said it has finished the specifications for its application programming interface for accessing multi-dimensional data (CI No 2,952). The specification is intended to provide a single vendor-independent link between front-end access software and on-line analytical processing data sources and simplify the incorporation of multidimensional data access and analysis into applications. The initial version of the interface will detail the display and navigation of both multidimensional data and supporting metadata. Future development will address the creation and maintenance of on-line analytical processing meta data. The interface is intended to enable administrative functions, such as logging on to servers and querying for access to metadata – such as dimensions, hierarchies within dimensions and names. It also enables specifications of a sub-cube slice, causing the server to return the specified slice of data, said Rick Crandall, chairman of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Comshare Inc and spokesman for the council. The client can specify a place in the cube and ask for drill down and can ask for a sort, performed on the server, with the results delivered to the client. The first release will enable full-functioned slice-and dice and sorting, and is likely to show up first as a Dynamic Link Library callable by anything, and later as an Object Linking & Embedding object. The application programming interface was originally due to be coded and available this quarter, but has been delayed by an increase in the council’s membership and the new members’ involvement in the interface and the council’s decision to publish a preliminary document for comment, explained Crandall. The specification is now due to be released by the end of the year, said the council, with a final version put in the public domain for on-line analytical processing vendors to use, later next year. The council claims it has got a bunch of other projects cooking, but is not saying what. Meantime it has signed three new members including Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois-based Platinum Technology Inc as a general member, KPMG Peat Marwick and Toronto, Canada-based Speedware Corp.

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