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Pentaho Announces a New Era in Open Standards for Analytics

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pentaho Corporation, the pioneer in agile business intelligence (BI), today announced the release of version 1.0 of olap4j, an open Java API designed for any Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) server. The olap4j release introduces a new standard in open source that lets developers and technology providers create rich analytic applications that work with multiple OLAP servers. The availability of open standards such as olap4j promotes interoperability across different technologies, giving users greater choice over other solutions and reducing the risk of vendor lock-in.

In the absence of a standard Java API for OLAP servers, Julian Hyde, Chief Architect of Pentaho Analysis and Founder of the Mondrian open source OLAP server, initiated the olap4j project in 2006 as a collaboration between vendors and individuals in the open source and BI communities. Since its inception, olap4j has matured and garnered support from a range of software companies and open source projects.

As an extension to the industry-standard JDBC (Java DataBase Connectivity) 4.0 specification, olap4j is immediately familiar to any Java developer with database programming experience. Olap4j fits seamlessly into an organization's data infrastructure, leveraging standard Java services such as connection pools, driver management and directory services.

The olap4j open specification encourages software innovation and freedom of choice for users. Unlike traditional, proprietary OLAP APIs that only work on a given OLAP server, olap4j 1.0 provides a stable and consistent means to integrate with any backend OLAP server that supports the standard. New applications built on olap4j will have a variety of OLAP engines available to power it, letting users choose which is best suited for their needs.

In addition to Pentaho, other organizations that have contributed to the olap4j initiative include:

  • SQL Power Group -- makers of Wabit, an ad hoc query and analysis tool built using olap4j
  • Jedox -- the commercial company behind Palo, an open source OLAP server that supports olap4j
  • Matrix CPM Solutions -- creators of Advanced Analysis Services (ADANS), an open source analysis tool that uses olap4j
  • Saiku -- a community-led open source analysis viewer that uses olap4j
  • Aschauer EDV GMBH -- a certified Pentaho Partner who extended the olap4j XML/A driver to talk to SAP BW

Quotes and Multimedia

"The olap4j open specification demonstrates the benefits of open collaboration between well-motivated parties. Unlike similar initiatives in the past by the large proprietary vendors, olap4j truly personifies the term 'open' as it enables end users to integrate with any backend OLAP server that supports the standard."
- James Dixon, chief geek and CTO, Pentaho Corporation

"Olap4j began as an open source initiative, because several of us in the open source BI community were frustrated by the lack of open standards, but it has well and truly moved beyond that. Olap4j now has mature drivers for several OLAP servers and is enabling a wide range of interoperability initiatives in commercial products as well as open source projects."
- Julian Hyde, Chief Architect of Pentaho Analysis and Founder of the Mondrian open source OLAP server, Pentaho Corporation

"Olap4j is a project which was created to fill the void in analytics on the Java platform. It was built by the force of common interests, evolving over the years, and shaped by a pragmatic and open process. We are thrilled that olap4j delivered what it promised and has grown into an accepted API for multi dimensional analysis of data sets. The investment required to comply with olap4j is trivial, yet it leads to amazing possibilities for those who do make the effort. We certainly hope that the remaining big database vendors see the opportunity and jump in."
- Luc Boudreau, Senior Software Engineer, Pentaho Corporation

  • For more information and to download olap4j 1.0 visit www.olap4j.org.
  • This olap4j release includes the specification, a reference implementation of the API in the form of an olap4j driver for Mondrian, a generic XML/A (XML for Analysis) driver compatible with Mondrian, Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, Palo, and SAP BW, as well as a Test Compatibility Kit (TCK).
  • Visit the Pentaho digital newsroom to learn more about this announcement and other happenings at Pentaho. Join the conversation on our Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.

About Pentaho Corporation

Pentaho is reinventing business intelligence by introducing an agile approach that makes it faster, simpler and more cost effective to create reports, dashboards and analytics. For a free evaluation download Pentaho BI at www.pentaho.com/download.

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