Once you have a multidimensional (MD) structure it needs to under go MD Analysis.

OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) is the presentation of data in MD structures, whereas OLTP (On-Line Transactional Processing) is the use and presentationof data in most relational structures. Data mining is sort of an extension of OLAP that predicts and trends data, whereas plain old OLAP looks at data as is.

There are various tools that can be used in MD analysis.

  • MDX (MD Expressions) is a language to interact with multidimensional structures, as SQL (Structured Query Language) is to relational structures.
  • ADO MD is an API (Application Programming Interface) used by programmers to interact with multidimensional structures, as ADO is to relational structures.
  • Various other means are available to generate reports, groups, trees, graphs, trends, and predictions for MD analysis.

SQL Server 7.0 provided "OLAP Services" whereas SQL Server 8.0/2000 provided "Analysis Services". This reflects the addition of data mining capabilities. SQL Server Analysis Services can create data mining models from both multidimensional and relational data sources.

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