April 17, 2001, 9:45 AM — Using a name that smells like the one Microsoft chose when it shipped SQL Server
2000 last summer, Oracle on Tuesday announced that its combined OLAP (online analytical
processing) tools and data mining technology will be dubbed Advanced Analytic
Services in the forthcoming 9i database.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's handle, Analysis Services, was announced shortly
before the company formally launched SQL Server 2000. Microsoft renamed it Analysis
Services when it added the data mining functionality because it included more
Previously, Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif., called this functionality 9i
OLAP Services. Microsoft used the moniker OLAP Services in SQL Server 7.0.
"Oracle is trying to build momentum for 9i and correcting a naming problem
in the database," said Mike Schiff, vice president of e-business and business
intelligence at market research firm Current Analysis, Sterling, Va.
Schiff issued a report earlier this month suggesting that Oracle rename OLAP
Services so as not to appear that it was copying Microsoft and, in essence,
was behind the operating system giant in the business intelligence skirmish.
"I'm sure they didn't want to come out with OLAP Services in the 9i database,"
Schiff continued. "So they're renaming it, and trying to one-up Microsoft."
Naming schemas aside, Oracle and Microsoft are not the only companies pulling
OLAP and data mining capabilities into the core database engine.
IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., has also pulled OLAP tools and data mining technology
directly into its DB2 database over the last several months. In late March,
Big Blue pulled Intelligent Miner Scoring services, which enable real-time data
mining capabilities, into its database engine.
Integrating the OLAP technology with data mining tools creates a single repository
for storing within the core database engine, thereby increasing the speed and
effective ness of analysis, according to Jagdish Mirani, senior director of
data warehousing product marketing at Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif.
"If my analytics and insight are delivered faster, I can make better decisions
more quickly," Mirani added.
Oracle has hinted for some time that it would bring its OLAP Express product
into the database, and with the 9i database, the company said it would embed
Express-like functionality, according to Schiff.
"They're not likely to kill Express anytime soon, because there are a
lot of people who use it," he said.
The 9i database is slated to ship in the first half of this year, and Mirani
maintained that Oracle will deliver on time.