Is having OLAP really useful or are the database companies trying to take away some of the functionality of the scripting languages? It seems to me that the same thing that OLAP does could be done in Perl, PHP or ASP. Maybe I am not understanding it correctly and I would like your input, but please try to refrain from the marketing mumbo jumbo or a virulent defense of the database software that you have become accustom to using. Try to answer these questions.

1) How does it affect database performance?

2) By having it is there a significant advantage over databases that don't? (please reread paragraph above)

3) Does it do the calculations quicker than the scripting languages?


Since a majority of SQL server and Oracle people use these forums I expect a multitude of posts defending OLAP and how awesome it is. Hopefully interspersed with all the nonsense we will get a couple people who really know what the hell they are talking about.

Ok let the grand OLAP debate begin!