The key concept of OLAP is that of a cube. This document uses the term cube when referring to any analytic data store, whether it is a MOLAP cube or a ROLAP star schema. An OLAP cube is a collection of related dataa databasethat has multiple dimensions.
Cube dimensions are the rough equivalent of fields in a relational database. In terms of data analysis, dimensions can be thought of as criteriasuch as time, account, and salespersonthat can pinpoint a particular piece of data. These pieces of data are usually transactions from an OLTP system.
Although they are called cubes, OLAP databases can have more than three dimensions. In fact, most cubes have anywhere from three to eight dimensions. To understand the concept of OLAP cubes, start with a simple data analysis model and then expand it.
It is possible to build an OLAP database out of PeopleSoft data without using PeopleSoft Cube Manager. In fact, customers have implemented custom OLAP solutions with previous PeopleSoft releases. However, PeopleSoft Cube Manager provides several important benefits when linking between your PeopleSoft application data and your OLAP platform.
PeopleSoft Cube Manager is a PeopleTool used to build OLAP databases or cubes. It provides a framework for modeling your OLAP cubes through its design tools. This framework supports the definition of all dimensions, attributes, measures, and cubes that you might want to build from PeopleSoft sources.
You can share all of these definitions across cubes to ensure that OLAP results are consistent across your enterprise.
You can also use components designed in PeopleSoft Cube Manager across all target OLAP platforms supported by PeopleSoft. PeopleSoft Cube Manager provides all these benefits while achieving a nearly platform-independent solution.
You can apply the majority of a cubes design attributes to Hyperion Essbase, Cognos PowerPlay, or Generic Star Schema. PeopleSoft Cube Manager also lets you leverage your existing PeopleSoft metadata to define the cube structure.