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OLE DB for OLAP Overview

Microsoft? OLE DB for Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a set of objects and interfaces that extends the ability of OLE DB to provide access to multidimensional data stores. OLAP applications typically handle huge volumes of complexly interrelated data, and OLE DB for OLAP enables users to perform sophisticated data analysis through fast, consistent, interactive access to a variety of possible views of the underlying information.

As a freely published specification and a developing industry standard for multidimensional data access, OLE DB for OLAP allows independent software vendors and corporate application developers to depend on a single API for consuming multidimensional data, regardless of the vendor or source. With this technology, OLAP applications can uniformly access both relational and nonrelational data stored in diverse information sources, regardless of location or type.

Providers of multidimensional data can implement a single set of interfaces that allow all OLAP clients to access their data. (These interfaces are described in the section OLE DB for OLAP Interfaces, in Part 4 of this guide.) Consumers can use the COM query interface method and data source properties to dynamically adapt to provider capabilities.

This documentation assumes the audience has the following technical qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of the C or Microsoft Visual C++? programming language

  • Knowledge of COM

  • Knowledge of OLE DB

  • General knowledge of multidimensional and relational database concepts and query languages

The following topics in this section provide more information about general and basic OLE DB for OLAP concepts and define the data model example that will be referenced throughout the OLE DB for OLAP documentation:

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