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Michelle Beckstrom
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OLAP Council Releases Enhanced Analytical Processing Benchmark
Release II of APB-1 Provides Additional Evaluation Criteria for OLAP Customers

BOSTON, November 16, 1998—The OLAP Council, a nonprofit consortium of industry leaders in the On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) market, today announced Release II of the Analytical Processing Benchmark (APB-1). This enhanced benchmark specification is a result of a nine-month collaborative effort of the OLAP Council’s Benchmark Subcommittee, consisting of the following companies: Applix/TM1 Software, Hyperion Solutions, Dimensional Systems, IBM Decision Support Solutions, NCR and Oracle Corp.

Release II of the APB-1 OLAP benchmark measures an OLAP server’s overall system performance by simulating a realistic business situation -- an analytic application for sales analysis. Release II of APB-1 benchmark will make it easier for OLAP customers to compare performance results from different vendors, by providing more meaningful measurement criteria and increasing the amount of information vendors disclose. The enhanced benchmark specification will lead to better-informed customers and, ultimately, better products.

Release II of APB-1 contains a wide range of major enhancements. These include data generators for multiple operating systems; support for larger data sets and larger numbers of query streams; a new primary performance metric; and revised implementation and disclosure guidelines.

For the first time, the data generation programs used to implement the benchmark are available for multiple operating systems, including Windows NT and several versions of Unix. Additionally, the new benchmark generator programs have been modified so vendors can more easily create larger databases for analysis -- benchmark sets well in excess of 100 gigabytes in size. Release II of APB-1 also increases the maximum allowable number of query streams to 10,000. By encouraging vendors to run larger-scale benchmarks on more than one platform, the new OLAP benchmark will provide customers with a clearer picture of how OLAP products may perform within their enterprise environments.

A new metric called AQM (Analytical Queries per Minute) incorporates data loading performance, calculation performance, and query performance into a single easy to understand measurement. AQM is easier to understand because it is less abstract than the previous metric (Analytical Query Time). AQM is intended to give customers a better perspective on query throughput and overall system performance, and to facilitate comparisons among different combinations of hardware and software.

Release II of APB-1 also includes a number of updates and clarifications to the implementation and certification requirements. These are intended to provide OLAP customers with an objective evaluation framework that is neutral and unbiased toward any vendor, product or technology.

Release II of APB-1 is generally available and in effect immediately. The complete specification for the Release II of APB-1 and new benchmark generation programs are available on the OLAP Council Web site at

"This new benchmark demonstrates the importance of multi-vendor ‘cooperation,’" said Dave Menninger, Vice President of Product Marketing for Oracle’s OLAP division. "The OLAP Council provides a valuable forum for vendors to collaborate on solutions and standards that benefit OLAP customers."

"The new OLAP benchmark scales to very large data sets, supports huge numbers of concurrent users, runs on multiple open computing platforms and mandates rigorous auditing and complete disclosure," said Daniel Druker, Vice President of Product Marketing for Hyperion Solutions. The OLAP benchmark has matured just as OLAP technology has, from an innovative solution for early adopters to a mandatory component of every company’s information systems infrastructure."

"With the detailed clarifications embodied in this revision of the APB-1, functionally consistent implementations of the application can be readily constructed for different OLAP systems, making it straightforward for vendors and consumers alike to gauge performance of widely different platforms on important OLAP functionality," said George Spofford, Principal at Dimensional Systems.


For more information, please visit the OLAP Council Web site at
The OLAP Council was founded to provide education about OLAP technology for business intelligence applications and to help position OLAP within a broader IT architecture. The Council’s mission is focused on establishing guidelines for OLAP interoperability and data navigation.

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The OLAP Council, established in January 1995, is made up of industry leaders in the OLAP market, and now includes: Applix/TM1 Software of Warren, N.J.; Business Objects, Inc. of Paris, France and Cupertino, Calif.; Cognos of Burlington, Mass. and Ottawa, Ont.; Gentia/Planning Sciences International Ltd. of London; Hyperion Solutions Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif.; IBM Decision Support Solutions of San Jose, Calif.; Management Science Associates, Inc. of Pittsburgh; NCR of San Diego, Calif.; Oracle Corporation of Redwood Shores, Calif.; Pilot Software of Cambridge, Mass.; and PLATINUM technology, Inc. of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.; and Sun Microsystems, Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif. Criteria for Council membership, in addition to payment of annual dues, includes support for the Council’s fundamental tenets of on-line analytical processing.

For information about membership in the OLAP Council, call the OLAP Council at (888) 818-OLAP, or send email to the OLAP Council Administrator.

© 1998 OLAP Council, all rights reserved.