Mark Rittman has worked up an excellent article on the new Oracle BI Landscape. He basically covers the whole range of products and technologies and how they’re being repackaged and rebranded into a new product set. Great read.
I thought the following was of interest:
The Analytic Server is effectively a ROLAP (Relational OLAP) engine, that connects to data sources but does not have any local storage in the traditional, database sense, although it does have a cache which holds copies of data previously retrieved, so that subsequent requests for the same data are returned faster.
What struck me about this statement is that from a technology perspective this is nearly identical to Mondrian‘s (Open Source OLAP engine) architecture. While proprietary vendors (Oracle included) had been touting the benefits of a true MOLAP solution instead of just ROLAP. However, with the processing headed to mid tier servers (instead of OLAP crunching happening on a Pentium I desktop) one can leverage the mid tier for caching, and analytical processing (MOLAP-esque stuff). In other words, you can get MOST of the benefits of MOLAP with a well designed and performant ROLAP server proactively caching/crunching on your behalf! Cool stuff!