Meantime, Oracle Corp is currently debating how or if it should integrate its Express multi-dimensional analytical processing engine into its relational database architecture, industry watchers at Morgan Stanley & Co believe. Express competes with Arbor Software Corp’s Essbase; they both started out as stand-alone analytical processing engines used to front-end a relational database. Arbor’s is supposedly simpler and easier to configure. Express has the advantage of being sold and supported by Oracle and users have a single source of support for relational and analytical processing data with the possibility of better integration of the two areas. However whether an analytical processing engine should be subsumed by the relational database and perhaps lose some of its simplicity and special purpose characteristics remains a debate inside of Oracle and the industry as well, the securities house advises. OLAP or On-Line Analytical Processing, is the new name for what people used to call decision support or Executive Information Systems when they comply with a set of rules laid down by Ted Codd. Oracle bought the Express software from Information Resources Inc for $100m cash in June 1995 (CI No 2,684).
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