Olap spreadsheets come to SQL Server

IntelligentApps is extending the capabilities of Excel spreadsheets in forthcoming versions of its Olap-enabling technology,...

IntelligentApps is extending the capabilities of Excel spreadsheets in forthcoming versions of its Olap-enabling technology, writes Eric Doyle.

The 4Excel and 4SQL Server packages are designed to bring advanced multidimensional Online Analytical Processing (Olap) features down to the desktop. They will allow these spreadsheets to be transferred to the Microsoft SQL Server database for wider access as conventional Olap cubes.
Paul Martin, IntelligentApps' CEO, said the addition of 4Excel's Wizards will help users to unlock the power of the multidimension capabilities of Excel more rapidly.
The package also contains analytical software from Proclarity to allow users to drill down and graphically display different views of the data. Apart from allowing the development of new applications, existing spreadsheets can be converted into cubes.
"The complexities of designing a multidimensional spreadsheet often requires the help of a company's IT department. Changes are therefore slow to implement and the results cannot be transferred to SQL Server's Olap environment for wider access and more powerful analysis," Martin said.
"IntelligentApps addresses this problem by empowering users to design and view their own spreadsheets, cutting the time taken to reap the benefits of business intelligence and allowing changes to be made instantly."
There is a discontinuity between Microsoft's Excel 2000 spreadsheets and the SQL Server 2000 environment. 4SQL Server addresses this problem by automating the transfer of data to the server. This transfer means that the data becomes more readily available to other users across the company or via the Internet.

4Excel will be available in three versions. The Standard Edition is a personal Olap product for SMEs that starts at £99 per user, or free if downloaded from the Internet. The Professional Edition offers greater scalability, for £299 per user. The Special Edition allows access to server-based applications, prices start at £499 per user.

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