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Archive for June 2008

Oracle and MDX

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Meanwhile, in the parallel universe inhabited by Oracle users, a few weeks ago Mark Rittmann interviewed the architect for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, Phil Bates, and asked readers to suggest some questions for him. Of course I couldn’t resist asking about MDX, even though I got a very nondescript response:

Interesting that many of the other questions concerned data access (eg "Will Oracle reverse Hyperion’s undocumented strategy for making it almost impossible to get data out of Essbase successfully?") as well.

Written by Chris Webb

June 4, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Posted in MDX


with 2 comments

Hands up who remembers OLAP@Work? If you do you’ve been working with Analysis Services for a long time, back when it was still OLAP Services… for those of you who don’t, it was one of about four options you had if you wanted a client tool circa 1999; it was an Excel addin and it was pretty good. Anyway, I’ve just seen this article on Intelligent Enterprise on what Ward Yaternick, the guy who founded OLAP@Work, has been up to since leaving Business Objects (which bought and eventually killed OLAP@Work):

He’s been working on something called nextanalytics:

Poking around on the site it looks quite interesting; certainly there are lots of mentions of MDX so I guess it supports Analysis Services as a data source (although it supports a lot of other data sources too). The key thing is that it allows you to create complex queries and calculations using a scripting language. Clearly this scripting language allows you to do the same kind of things you can do with MDX and indeed one particular entry on the nextanalytics blog caught my eye:,com_myblog/Itemid,342/show,Can-a-business-intelligence-product-be-used-to-answer-analytic-questions-.html/

I was about to leave a comment when I saw that Mosha had beaten me to it. Mosha’s right that contrary to what the original entry says, what Ward is describing is certainly possible in MDX, but Ward also has a point that it’s not something that someone with an average knowledge of MDX could accomplish. Can nextanalytics prove itself to be easier to use than MDX? Time will tell. I’ll have to download the open source version of it (available here: to try it out. When I have a spare moment, of course, which at the current rate is going to be some time next year.

Written by Chris Webb

June 3, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Posted in Client Tools


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