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By Dinesh Priyankara,
Recently one of
our business clients wanted to have a Business Intelligence System for his
company. Because of availability of many BI platforms, he needed to do a
comparison between MS SQL Server 2000 and Oracle 9i BI platforms. So, I
surfed on various web sites on read many white papers, and ended up with
Hope this will be useful
for you too.
platform should support both relational and multidimensional data
This is the most widely used component to Analysis. Platform should
provide OLAP support within the databases, OLAP functionalities,
interfaces to OLAP functionalities, and OLAP build and manage
platform should include data mining functionalities that offers range of
algorithms that can operate on data.
Interfaces: platform should provide interfaces to data
warehouse databases, OLAP, and data mining.
Build and Manage
platform should support to build and manage data warehouses in their
data warehouse databases like implementation of data warehouse models,
the extraction, movement, transformation.
Microsoft: Microsoft is quantitatively the OLAP leader and its BI
platform is the equal of any other leaders such as Hyperion, IBM, and
Oracle. And the pricing and packaging advantages that demonstrated with
OLAP in SQL 2000 is significant. As a result, Microsoft BI platform
delivers value that is not approached by the platforms of other leaders
Oracle: Oracle offers a more technologically consistent BI
platform by delivering both OLAP and relational capabilities in its
database. But it's OLAP implementation has not been widely adopted by
tools and application suppliers, and therefore has not yet achieved
significant market share.
Oracle 9i Warehouse Builder provides relational build and manage
capabilities. Oracle Enterprise Manager provides OLAP build and
Oracle: Fee of $40,000 per processor is just charged
for Enterprise Edition of relational database. Oracle 9i OLAP and Data
Mining are separately packaged and are priced at $20,000 and $20,000
consecutively per processor. And Warehouse Builder is priced $5,000 per
named user. As a result entire Oracle BI platform is priced at about
Microsoft native OLAP interface and is an acronym for Multidimensional
Expression. In many ways, this is very similar to
Structured Query Language (SQL), but not an extension of SQL
language. MDX provides Data Definition Language (DDL) syntax for
managing data structures.
Support Objects): This library supplies a hierarchical object
model for use with any development environment that can support
Common Object Model (COM) objects and interfaces such as MS Visual
C++, MS Visual Basic. Its objects encapsulate server platform, SQL
Server databases, MDX functions, OLAP data structures, Data Mining
models and user roles.
This is client-based OLE DB provider for Analysis Service OLAP and
Data Mining functionalities. This is powerful but heavy client
This is a Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)-based XML API that
has been designed by Microsoft for accessing SQL Server Analysis
Service data and functionality from the web client applications.
This makes the SQL Server 2000 BI platform is the first database to
offer powerful data analysis over the web. And this allows
application developers to provide analytic capabilities to any
client on any device or platform, using any programming language.
This is the native interface to Oracle 9i data and analytic
functions. Through OLAP DML, application can access, query,
navigate, and manipulate multidimensional data as well as perform
API: Application can connect to multidimensional data and can
perform navigation, selection and analysis functions but not all
functions. For a example, Java application must execute OLAP DML
command when the functionality is not available.
PL/SQL: By using predefined PL/SQL packages that access OLAP
command directly or OLAP multidimensional views or accessing table
functions directly, OLAP data and functionalities can be accessed.
Data Mining API (java): This is open API and Oracle makes its
published specification easily available.
Microsoft and Oracle address all of our
business intelligence platform requirements. They provide relational
data warehousing, build and manage facilities, OLAP, data mining, and
application interfaces to relational data warehouses, to OLAP data and
analytic functionality, and to data mining.
provides a comprehensive business intelligence platform. Build and
manage capabilities, OLAP capabilities, and application interfaces
are its key strengths. Data mining is very new, although data mining
integration and data mining tools are quite good.
a comprehensive business intelligence platform. While this platform
has a complete set of components, OLAP and data mining capabilities
are unproven, data mining tools are low level, and build and manage
capabilities are not consistently implemented for relational and
When consider the price, Microsoft
leaves Oracle behind. Microsoft entire BI platform can be bought at
$19,999 but it is about $80,000 for Oracle before adding $5,000 per user
fees for build and manage capabilities.
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