OLAP software is quite widespread, much deeper a list that I would have expected. Of course, all of the major vendors have this functionality as part of their main BI offerings, but aren’t usually offered as part of a separate offering.
Cognos uses PowerPlay as its offering, while Microstrategy has it built in as a licensable add-in. Microsoft OLAP is part of their Analysis services. Microsoft has the most market share of any of the companies. Its bundled in as part of its SQL server offerings, so it is very widespread just in that regard. BusinessObjects and Oracle also have their own offering. From an open source standpoint, Pentaho and Jaspersoft have some capabilities in their suite, as does BIRT.
If you have a bi enterprise system, you probably won’t need a separate piece and will probably be better off with the integrated functionality rather than try to work in additional technology. If you have many standalone business intelligence components, you may need a special technology to get online analytical processing going. Or, you may just not want to license the additional functionality, as some vendors like Microstrategy may need you to do. Here are some of the other independent players:
PivotLink: They have an interesting SaaS offering and are one of the more well-known smaller companies. They also offer other BI and analytics services too.
Instant OLAP – Offers a free license for administrators to create their own cubes and analysis objects. The freebie is really only useful in an evaluation scenario.
Free OLAP – Hey…its free right? It’s a Java based tool but takes some setup to run so it’s not for the faint of heart.
Strategy Companion – This is more of an add-on to sit on top of Microsoft Analysis Services to offer a window to view and analyze the cube data. Worth a look though if you are a MSFT shop.
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