Oracle 11g OLAP - What to Expect Part 1

Over the past several months we have been testing the 11g Beta but have not been permitted to discuss publicly. Now that the "Cat is Out of the Bag" I can now discuss some of the new features and let everyone know what to expect when 11g goes into production. So I will be posting a series on 11g OLAP and let everyone know what to expect.

What is There and What is NOT

As with all new releases not everything is going to be present when 11g ( is released in the upcoming month(s). The following is a list of Features that I have been able to ascertain from my testing or conversations with Oracle Product Management. Please note that things may change before the product is released.

  • There will be an 11g and 10g mode (prompt in AWM) in 10g mode you have pretty much the same functionality as in Product Management says that it does not have Full Functionally until the release (more on that later). 11g mode provides all the new 11g functionality.

  • AWM 11g - New version of Tool - Function like AWM in 10g mode except OBJECT VIEW is no longer with us. In 11g mode the added features are now visible. I will have a follow-up post with a complete overview of AWM 11g.

  • In 11g mode all the OLAP metadata is now stored in the database data dictionary and is accessed via the common metadata cache. This speeds things up significantly and enhances the SQL access to the data.

  • 11g supports using AWs as the materialized view. This should greatly improve performance of materialized view creation and performance of queries. Testing of the functionality will be the subject of a follow-up entry.

  • 11g OLAP now integrates with User Security – Restriction of the data can now be controlled using AWM. I will provide more detail on this key functionality in a future posting.

  • The creation of calculated measures has been replaced with a more comprehensive template driven calc builder with many more calculation methods include Free Form. This could be the subject of an future white paper or blog series.

  • In 10g mode Templates and EIF Imports work to import into a 10g version AW.

  • In 11g mode Old Templates and EIF Imports do not work. The Templates and EIF files must be 11g format. A generic "Non Standard Form" EIF File can be imported.

  • YTD Calculations have been improved in OLAP - This is a performance improvement that dramatically improves performance of the YTD function. In prior OLAP version the way YTD calculations are performed are not very efficient. Mark Thompson at Vlamis Software will post a blog entry on this issue soon!

  • Automatic SQL Views - when an AW is built in 11g mode AWM automatically create SQL views of the dimensions, including each hierarchy, and the cubes. This uses some of the the new SQL functionality and the new CUBE functions (subject of another posting).

  • Support for viewing Cubes and Dimensions using existing BI Beans tools such as Discoverer for OLAP and Worksheet Addin is not supported in the production release. I have tested 10g Mode Cubes and they seem to work fine, but Product management cautions that complete functionality is not present.

The Upgrade

As I have stated there are several "Features" that are not available in the upcoming production release. The OLAP upgrades in 11g were so massive internally that many backward compatibility functions were not completed prior to the production release. The new SQL functionality and the ability to create new AWs and allow SQL Access to such BI tools as BI EE and SE One as well as the great number of SQL Based reporting tools was a top priority. There will be a followup release, version that will fix the things missing in These things include (subject to change):

  • BI Beans and Discoverer for OLAP support

  • Full API support for 10g mode AWs in 11g database

  • Support for Datapump Import and Exports

  • May support importing or migration of 10g AWs

It is not known when this patch will be released. I hope it will be soon.

I hope this Overview helped... If anyone has any specific questions please drop me a line and I will try to answer directly or in a posting.

Next Up – AWM 11g