Simba has been a leader in OLAP and MDX data connectivity for the last decade and a half. Most of the OLAP providers out there that support the MDX query language have been built using the SimbaProvider SDK - these include SAP BW, SAP HANA, Oracle, Teradata, Kognitio, and Exasol.
One question that often comes up is what BI or analytics tool can I use that will support multiple OLAP data sources? First up is always Microsoft Excel Pivot Tables. Many analysts know how to use Excel Pivot Tables and if the OLAP data source supports the OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO) protocol and the MDX query language, then this is a no-brainer.
Since all of the major BI vendors have been bought up by larger companies, it has always been a challenge to find a serious BI tool that support lots of different OLAP data sources. Most recently, Tableau is an up and comer but they are still limited in their OLAP support largely to Microsoft, SAP, and Teradata. Last week at the SAP Sapphire conference, I attended a session entitled "What's new with Analysis Office and OLAP". This session covered the new features in the SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Office and Analysis for OLAP products. There were two specific slides regarding OLAP connectivity here. One slide covered all the different OLAP data sources that SAP supports and another slide showed that you could have simultaneous connection to multiple data providers. Also, unlike Excel, the SAP BusinessObjects Analysis product is part of a complete BI Suite and so is that much more powerful in any business enterprise. The different OLAP back ends that SAP supports are:
- SAP NetWeaver BW
- SAP HANA
- Microsoft SSAS
- Oracle OLAP and Oracle Essbase
- SAP EPM providers: SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management, SAP BusinessObjects Financial Consolidation