Oracle Essbase (Extended Spreadsheet Database) is the industry-leading multi-dimensional database on the market today. Essbase stores data in a "cube" or Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) database. OLAP differs from Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) systems in that the way the data is stored optimizes human queries instead of transactions. Because it's optimized for users, not transactions, Essbase has extremely fast response times for vast numbers of concurrent users doing complex read-write queries and modeling.
In August 2005, Information Age magazine named Essbase as one of the 10 most influential technology innovations of the previous 10 years, along with Netscape, the Blackberry, Google, virtualization, Voice Over IP (VOIP), Linux, XML, the Pentium processor and ADSL. Editor Kenny MacIver said: "Hyperion Essbase was the multi-dimensional database technology that put online analytical processing on the business intelligence map. It has spurred the creation of scores of rival OLAP products - and billions of OLAP cubes".
Essbase not only stores data, but also incorporates one of the leading calculation engines for doing financial calculations such as allocations and eliminations. By putting the calculations in Essbase instead of in reports, everyone in your organization gets the same answer (for Net Income as an example) and there is a single version of the truth. Additionally, because the math for calculations isn't in reports when changes are made, they automatically are displayed in reports, dashboards and ad-hoc queries.
Key benefits of Essbase include:
- Capable of storing huge amounts of data with extremely fast response time
- Supports large numbers of end-users doing read-write queries
- Comes with over 350 out-of-the-box functions that accelerate development
- Built-in financial intelligence (knows the difference between a debit and a credit)
Click here to learn more about Oracle Essbase technology.
Andrew Fryer provides a good explanation of how OLAP works on his BLOG which can be accessed here: http://blogs.technet.com/andrew/archive/2007/08/22/olap-cubes-and-multidimensional-analysis.aspx