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icCube 1.1 is now free

with 7 comments

Late last year I blogged about icCube, a new OLAP server that supports MDX. I’ve just heard they’ve released version 1.1 and decided to give it away free (see here) – an interesting development for anyone looking at low-cost or open source OLAP tools, although I suspect it represents competition more for Mondrian than it does for SSAS. 

Written by Chris Webb

February 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Posted in MDX

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7 Responses

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  1. Thanks for your post Chris.

    icCube is aiming to compete with SSAS and we expect it to be faster for cubes on the range of 1-50mio facts in the next release (1.2). This for the free version.

    icCube has several innovating features : Web Reporting (new and beta in 1.1), dimensions indexed by range (banded), MDX Debugger, MDX Profiler, functional support, works on Linux, self contained schemas (nice for sharing small models) among others and with more to come.

    It’s understandable that if you’re happy you are not going to change. However if you need something SSAS can’t deliver or a just curious, give us a chance. We’re a young company so highly agile.

    From the product point of view I understand our scope is not as wide, but we are certainly a valid option. Chris, may I ask you why you suspect we do not represent competition for SSAS ?

    Why free ? the business model is taking into account that experts,people are reticent to change :-) and is following an open source like strategy. Note, this was part of our initial plan so not a real change for us.

    David Alvarez Debrot

    March 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    • Hi David,

      To answer your question about why you don’t represent direct competition for SSAS:
      * Even if you are faster than SSAS in the 1-50 million fact record range (which would be impressive, especially where more complex calculations are involved too), SSAS is already fast enough for just about every application I’ve ever come across
      * More importantly, people don’t choose software based on price alone – if they did we’d all be using open source. Other factors like the size of the company (and therefore the risk of it lasting), the cost of support, the ease with which you can hire people who can use it and find training for it, and so on, need to be taken into account. A lot of people use SSAS simply because it comes from Microsoft and is bundled with SQL Server, and don’t even do a formal evaluation of it; it too is effectively free for many companies that already use SQL Server.

      I don’t want you to think I meant my comment in a negative light, I am very impressed with what you’ve done and I like it a lot. When you have a true cloud-based solution (which I’m eagerly anticipating – please deliver it soon!) then I think a whole new class of applications will become possible that never have been before, and then competition with premises-based BI solutions will be on a completely different basis.

      Chris Webb

      March 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm

  2. Certainly, we cannot compare our company with Microsoft. MS is providing a large industrial solution whereas we’re offering a personalized, custom-made solution.

    We’ve a Swiss background, so quality is at the center of our offering and this includes providing customers with the best personal support. As an example, we had a customer with a need for different granularities for the time dimension: last week as hours, last three months as days, and last three years as weeks and so on. For that purpose, we introduced ranged dimension (http://www.iccube.com/support/documentation/user_guide/schemas_cubes/dim_ranged.html). Chris, how do you solve this with MS (let’s imagine your data source is not SQL)?

    This is just an example of our willingness to make our product evolve and offer a personalized support and we will be happy adding you as a new happy customer.

    In our idea list we’ve: improving significantly time rolling calculations, what-if scenarios (please don’t tell me you’re happy with this :-) )…

    Regarding our product lasting, you’ve our personal commitment to make our product open source before letting it die (we’ve cash so this will not happen shortly :-) ). In this imaginary scenario, other BI companies would certainly be happy taking our suite over for free. IMHO, the issue is more about the energy people need to learn a new product and the natural resistance to change.

    David Alvarez Debrot

    March 4, 2011 at 8:59 am

    • I think you’re doing a lot of good things to add value to your product – the range dimension is something I’ve wanted for a long time in SSAS, where a solution is only possible with many-to-many relationships or with some nasty modelling. So I’ll take back what I said: from a technical point of view you will be competition for SSAS…

      Chris Webb

      March 4, 2011 at 9:19 am

  3. seems cool

    tao yu chu

    September 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

  4. It “was” free. I guess that is just a strategy to get press.

    bait_and_switch

    October 20, 2011 at 11:43 am


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