Data Processing Spec Nears Final Draft

A new standard for querying and managing data and metadata in Java-based
online analytical processing (OLAP) servers and databases is
approaching its final draft, the Java Community
(JCP) said Monday.

The JCP Expert Group for the Java OLAP Interface (JOLAP) recently concluded
a 60-day public review of their specification for multidimensional data
management and interoperability of the JOLAP application programming
interface (API) .

Why do developers needs such a software spec? JOLAP is designed to be the
OLAP counterpart of the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) (API) for data
managed by relational databases. The JCP believes the Java community will
benefit from one industry-standard API that makes it possible to create
business analysis applications that can be deployed across any
JOLAP-compliant OLAP data resource. Geared for the Java 2 Platform,
Enterprise Edition (J2EE) environment, JOLAP consists of the Common
Warehouse Metamodel (CWM) and Java Metadata Interface (JMI) to perform
advanced analytics and business performance management.

Vendors of OLAP servers supporting the JOLAP standard will be able to use an
API that will be readily usable by a number of applications running on the
Java platform. Firms involved in the architecture of this specification
include Hyperion
, Sun Microsystems , IBM , Oracle , Unisys
, SAS Institute, Databeacon, Pilot Software, Nokia and Adaptive.

The next stage in the painstaking process of developing the specification is
the production of a proposed final draft, a proof of concept (in JCP
parlance, a Reference Implementation (RI)) and a piece of software used in
verifying specification conformance (Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK), in
JCP parlance).

One analyst applauded the advancement. Mike Schiff, Vice President of
E-Business and Business Intelligence at Current Analysis, said
interdependency of e-business and analytic applications heightens the
urgency and significance of providing the Java community with a singular
mechanism to work with OLAP data structures.

“Broad support for standards like JOLAP and the Common Warehouse Metamodel
among leading e-business and data warehousing vendors is a positive and
timely development in the evolution of the Internet economy,” Schiff said.

John Kopcke, chief technology officer of Hyperion, which proposed the spec,
discussed the importance of JOLAP for his company’s customers.

“Our customers ultimately benefit by being able to integrate their
applications with a multitude of OLAP servers and other advanced analysis
and business performance management tools,” Kopcke said.

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