I've managed to
find out a bit more about the
OX application that appeared on
OTN's OLAP homepage last week.
What it looks like is that
OX was developed by the EPB team within Oracle as an alternative
to the original, 9iR2 / 10.1.0.2 version of Analytic Workspace
Manager, as they had to do a lot of development work directly
with analytic workspaces and OLAP DML. It's not a replacement
for AWM10g, or an officially supported product, but something
used internally within Oracle and now made available for
partners and customers to use.
From what I can see, the reason that there's so little
documentation is that essentially this is an internal tool
that's now due to customer demand been made available
externally, and therefore all the docs and mailing lists and so
forth are internal to Oracle. I don't think you can get support
for OX from MOSC, but from what I've heard it's likely that
there will be some more documentation made available soon, or at
least additions to the readme.html to give a bit more background
to the product.
My understanding is that there's a bit more to the product
that appears at first sight. The application's architecture is
open and flexible, and it's designed as a full IDE (Integrated
Development Environment) for analytic workspaces and OLAP DML,
rather than just a point solution. There is talk of it being
"open source" (though whether it's just open source within
Oracle, and whether it's GPL'd or just free as in beer) with
contributions and modules being accepted from other developers.
Don't quote me on this bit though as I don't know the realities
of how this works in practice. Also - the tool was developed
over a year ago, before AWM10g, and therefore it may not be
being actively developed/maintained anymore.
Last time I wrote about OX I mentioned something about there
being an option to "Install OX Protocols". When you get this
working (it always errored for me, with a file permissions
error) this actually sounds quite interesting, with support for
mouse gestures (for example, to attach an AW) - I don't know if
this what the OX Protocols provide, we'll have to see what extra
now works when I manage to get them installed.
Other features of the tool include:
- Intuitive navigator interface allows for easy browsing of
attached analytic workspaces.
- The Program Editor provides a real-time development
environment. Features include dynamic expression evaluation,
jump-to other analytic workspace objects, interactive
compilation, online context-sensitive help for DML commands,
and DML keyword formatting. Can also be used for editing
models, formulas and aggmaps.
- The Data Editor presents a standard table interface
for displaying and editing multi-dimensional data. The display
supports an unlimited number of dimensions, with basic
pivoting functionality. Formula data can be viewed in
read-only mode. Relation data can be edited by means of a list
dimension value selector.
- A Search utility allows for searching program,
formula, model or aggmap definitions for strings. The results
are linked to the actual DML objects.
- The OLAP Monitor provides a familiar command-line
- SQL Editor provides quick query execution and
displays results in a tabular format.
- Session sharing with applications built with OLAP Web
Agent or OA Framework.
- Persistent connection profiles allow quick access to
- Full internationalization support.
You also get feature such as code syntax
highlighting, OLAP DML and SQL command line access. From
speaking to a couple of the guys in the office, it's not a tool
that we're really going to use much - AWM10g is more polished,
lets you edit multiple programs at once (OX limits you to a
single program at a time), supports the model view, and has a
better OLAP DML interface (the OLAP Worksheet). But it's
interesting to see the tool, good of Oracle to release it and it
could be interesting if other developers release add-ons for it.
Thanks for everyone who got in touch about it.