OLAP (online analytical processing) has been around for more than 30 years under one name or another. For much of that time, it has meandered peacefully down an information technology (IT) backwater; but no longer. Oracle and Microsoft are now using integrated OLAP servers as weapons to bash each other as well as competitors such as IBM. According to "The OLAP Report" (www.olapreport.com), the OLAP market is now larger than $3 billion; and, unlike others, it is not yet dominated by a "big three."

Despite this increased prominence, there haven't been any detailed surveys of real-world OLAP usage – until now. Survey.com recently published the first such study.

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