IBM announced Wednesday that its DB2 OLAP Server would support both combined multi-dimensional and relational analysis for the first time.
The new 8.1 version of the product, which combines IBMs DB2 database with Hyperion Software Corp.s Essbase OLAP server, allows users to combine the multi-dimensional analysis of Essbase with the relational analysis of DB2. Previously, users had to choose one type of analysis over the other based on which application they were using.
Users will now be able to get both the performance of multi-dimensional analysis with the scalability and detail of relational analysis, IBM officials said.
"If you need aggregate, summary data, you can keep it in multidimensional, but when you need highly scaleable, detailed analysis, you can switch to relational," said Jeff Jones, director of strategy for IBM data management solutions. Jones said the difference in data stores to the user is transparent.
DB2 OLAP Server 8.1 is based on the current 6.5 release of Essbase, the first time DB2 OLAP Server has kept current with Essbase, according to Jones. It also includes version 7.2 of DB2.
DB2 OLAP Server 8.1 also includes data mining capabilities, through the integration of IBMs OLAP Miner application, first introduced in a maintenance release of DB2 OLAP Server last December, Jones said.
While OLAP analysis can generate fast responses to specific queries, data mining adds capabilities to discover hidden knowledge in the database, Jones explained. "If you know what youre looking for, OLAP is usually enough," he said. "If you need some additional help, thats where data mining comes in."
DB2 OLAP Server 8.2 is available now. Pricing is $25,000, regardless of the number of processors.