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Open Source OLAP Solutions? 12

webmaven asks: "After reading a thread on the local LUG mailing list on databases, I started wondering if there were any Open Source OLAP (On-Line Analytical Proccessing) database solutions out there. There are plenty of RDBMS OLTP (On-Line Transaction Proccessing) solutions, including MySQL, PostGreSQL, Interbase/Firebird, etc., and also plenty of Open Source Object database systems, but I can't seem to locate any Open Source OLAP databases. If there are any out there, I'd like to hear about them, and if there aren't any I'd enjoy any speculation as to why not."
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Open Source OLAP Solutions?

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  • SAPDB would be a good choice.

    It is free. I do not know whether or not it is open source.

    The chances are if you are asking this on Slashdot you are not qualified to modify the source of a database engine anyway, so use SAP DB or pirate Oracle.
    • The chances are if you are asking this on Slashdot you are not qualified to modify the source of a database engine anyway, so use SAP DB ...

      The original poster was talking about OLAP, not DBMS. SAP/DB is a DBMS. You would keep your data in SAP/DB, but you would use an OLAP engine (on top of a Data Warehouse architechture) to extract and anlyse the underlying data.

      In an enterprise strength system you could use... oh, i don't know,... SAP/DB as the underlying DBMS, running on Mandrake, Red Hat, AIX or even the dreaded W2K, with SAP/BW as the Data Warehouse and BEx Analyzer as the OLAP.

      OLAP ne OLTP ne DBMS

  • I've actually thought about that question before and came to only a limited conclusion. It's one or a combination of a few things probably.

    First is that there are very few individual people that would sit down and say to themselves "For my next hobby project, I want to build a multi-dimensional OLAP database. That'll come in handy in my everyday life... I can plug in my check book numbers and get some GREAT analytics out of it... AND FAST!" And (although I may be wrong), many Open Source projects seem to spawn from the same thing as most inventions - a personal itch. So, if you ever had personal itch (that was strong enough to actually make you write code) to build your own OLAP database, then it would seem that you're the first!

    Also, I'm not sure there's a big enough demand for new OLAP services to warrant that kind of project. If you're using a multi-dimensional OLAP database, you've probably had it for a little while now and already own the software.

    There may be other justified reasons, or it could just be that no one has bothered yet. If you get a project going, though, I'd be interested in hacking on it some!
  • If it's free that you're looking for, All of Oracle's software is available free for non-commercial use from Oracle Technet []. Furthermore, since this is Slashdot, I'm pretty sure the Linux version of Oracle's DB is available free, regardless of use.
  • I don't know of a production quality open source OLAP database. That said, my company is working on a basic set of OLAP class libraries and tools (in perl and php) which enable summarization and reporting of data warehouses. It is not an end user tool, but we've been using it to build query applications on dimensional data marts. Our plan all along has been to release it as open source.

    We have not released yet for two reasons. First, it is not ready yet -- we've seen a lot of alpha quality open source projects languish on Freshmeat because they're just not usable. We want to include enough sample code and documentation to make it a decent starting point for a programmer to build an OLAP web application. Second, this post is the first real interest we've seen in open source OLAP, so we weren't in any real hurry.

    BTW, we use MySQL, because it is fast and reliable for read-only data.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel