Comparison of Business Intelligence Strategies between SQL and Oracle

,

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

this document.

Hope this will be useful

for you too.

Business

Intelligence Requirements

  • Data warehouse

    databases:

    platform should support both relational and multidimensional data

    warehousing databases.

  • OLAP (Online

    Analytical Processing):

    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

    capabilities.

  • Data Mining:

    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

    capabilities:

    platform should support to build and manage data warehouses in their

    data warehouse databases like implementation of data warehouse models,

    the extraction, movement, transformation.

The Leadership

  • 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.

Build and Manage Capabilities

Microsoft:

  • Toolsets: Analysis

    Manager provides comprehensive relational and OLAP build and manage

    capabilities.

  • Extraction data

    sources:

    MS SQL Server, Oracle, ODBC, Files, Access 2000, Excel 2000, MS

    Visual FoxPro, dBase, Paradox, MS Exchange Server and MS Active

    Directory.

Oracle:

  • Toolsets:

    Oracle 9i Warehouse Builder provides relational build and manage

    capabilities. Oracle Enterprise Manager provides OLAP build and

    manage capabilities.

  • Extraction

    data sources: IBM DB2, Informix, MS SQL Server, Sybase, Oracle,

    ODBC, Flat Files.

Packaging and Pricing

  • Microsoft: Entire BI platform for $19,999 (SQL Server

    Enterprise Edition - per processor license)

  • 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

    $85,000.

OLAP Interfaces

Microsoft: 

  • MDX (Multi

    Dimensional Expression):

    This is

    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.

  • DSO (Decision

    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.

  • Pivot Table

    Service:

    This is client-based OLE DB provider for Analysis Service OLAP and

    Data Mining functionalities. This is powerful but heavy client

    interface.

  • XML for

    Analysis:

    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.

Oracle:

  • OLAP DML:

    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

    analytic functions.

  • Java OLAP

    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.

  • SQL and

    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 Interfaces

Microsoft:

  • DSO (Decision

    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.

  • Pivot Table

    Service:

    This is client-based OLE DB provider for Analysis Service OLAP and

    Data Mining functionalities. This is powerful but heavy client

    interface.

Oracle:

  • Oracle 9i

    Data Mining API (java): This is open API and Oracle makes its

    published specification easily available.

Conclusion

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.

  • Microsoft

    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.

  • Oracle provides

    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

    OLAP data.

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.

I highly appreciate all your comments about

this article.

You can reach me

through

dinesh@dineshpriyankara.com

 

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