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March 22, 1996

ORACLE ENHANCES ITS ANALYTICAL PROCESSING LINE WITH EXPRESS TOOLS

By CBR Staff Writer

Oracle Corp has added Express Objects to its OLAP Express tool set. It has also updated its Express Analyzer data analysis tool. Express Objects uses Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Mystic River Software Inc’s Visual Basic-like Softbridge Basic scripting language – also used by Attachmate Inc, Borland International Inc, Cognos Inc and Hummingbird Communications Corp – for analytical processing application development, and ships next month, priced at $4,000 per developer. The Express Analyzer is $600 per user. The Express family, bought for $100m cash from Information Resources Inc (CI No 2,864), now includes the multi- dimensional data modeling and calculation engine Express Server/Personal Express (formerly Express MDB); application development tools such as Express Objects and Express Analyzer (formerly ExpressView) and other applications including Financial Analyzer (FMS Planner) and Sales Analyzer (DataServer Analyzer). Oracle hopes to win a 50% share of the analytical processing market in the long term and claims to be distancing itself from the multidimensional analytical processing versus relational analytical processing squabble over whether analytical processing tools should be based on specialized multidimensional analytical processing – MOLAP – database engines supported by the likes of Arbor Software Corp and Planning Sciences International Plc, or whether multidimensional views can be added to standard relational databases – ROLAP – as with Informix’s recently acquired Stanford Technology Group MetaCube. Oracle’s Dave Menninger, director of product marketing for Express Technology, says the company takes the view that an either-or scenario is not the right approach. It’s generally accepted that MOLAP is much better at analysis and performance, he says, whereas ROLAP can deal with larger data sets… most ROLAP vendors sell to Information Systems departments rather than end-users. They don’t acknowledge there is a market for analysis. At present, he claims, the Express computational engine enables SQL queries to be generated on the fly, with data from the relational database not available in the multi-dimensional array being transformed and the cube filled dynamically. In Oracle’s estimation it goes some way to crossing the MOLAP/ROLAP divide.

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