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NCR adds OLAP to database

The company says it has added Teradata OLAP Services to the database, so that users can perform multidimensional analysis on data to spot trends and patterns.

Tech Industry
NCR is bringing online analytical processing (OLAP) capabilities to its venerable Teradata database.

The company said this week that it has added Teradata OLAP Services to the database, so that users can perform multidimensional analysis on data to spot trends and patterns.

OLAP tools let users quickly analyze shared corporate data organized in multiple dimensions, not just the two-dimensional horizontal and vertical categories of simple spreadsheets. That allows data to be viewed, for example, as "sales by region" or in more complicated, but informative combinations, as "sales by quarter, by sales representative, by product line, by region."

Teradata itself is designed to function as a decision support database, as part of a data warehouse, capable of storing massive amounts of data for analysis. The database is capable of handling more than 100 terabytes of data, and can quickly churn through huge databases thanks to an internal massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture.

The OLAP Services will add a new set of tools that NCR hopes will make the database more appealing to potential buyers.

Teradata will support OLAP via a new embedded multidimensional feature, called TeraCube, and through extensions to the database's query language, a variant of Structured Query Language (SQL).

Desktop analysis tools can access the OLAP features via Teradata's support for the Microsoft OLE DB for OLAP application programming interface (API).

The new OLAP features will be part of Teradata Release 3, planned for shipment late this year.

Teradata runs on MPP and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) servers running Unix. Versions for Windows NT and Sun Microsystems Solaris are planned.

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