The Olap Council is squaring up to take on Microsoft and its OLE DB for Olap application programming interfaces (APIs) in an attempt to try and stop the software giant taking control of the market.
Trouble began brewing a couple of months ago (see Newswire 9 September), when Microsoft released the beta version of its APIs, codenamed Tensor, rallying 18 other suppliers, over half of which were Olap Council members, to bang the drum in support of the technology.
The Council, which appears to feel under siege, has since been working on a counter-offensive and hopes to launch the second version of its APIs to great fanfare by the middle of November.
However, the first release of the technology, which took over two years to develop, was supported by only one supplier, Gentia.
An industry watcher explained: ?The Olap Council is trying to fight back against Microsoft. Oracle decided to take control and is trying to rope in all its supporters to back it. It?s doing the Olap Council API Mark two and is trying to muster support, but it?s having difficulties.?
He continued: ?The technology is ready, but Oracle is afraid it?ll look stupid if it?s only got three supporters - Cognos and two other small players - but if it fails to win support, it doesn?t know how it?ll fight Microsoft. It won?t want to be seen as the odd man out if the rest of the market support Tensor.?
Moreover, the problem was that most suppliers already had their own API, as many as 21 had committed to use Microsoft?s Tensor APIs to connect to the Microsoft world and could not necessarily afford to support any more.
To do so, requires a permanent resource commitment to keep updating their systems each time the API is updated and many are not prepared to stump up the time or the cash, the source said.
Gentia Software, the only supplier that supported the first version of the Olap Council?s API, said it was a case of once bitten, twice shy.
Support for the second release would require too much work because it was so different from the first and, after the Olap Council?s track record, the company would not be prepared to be the sole backer of its standards again.
But Oracle has insisted that it had not assumed control of the Olap Council and was working with Cognos, Arbor, NCR and Pilot to bring to market a standard cross-platform, cross-vendor specification, unlike Microsoft?s offering, which only supported NT.
Dave Menninger, Oracle?s senior director of product marketing for Olap and member of the Olap Council, said: ?We?re very active in the Olap Council and we have been attempting to energise it because we wanted to see a major change in the API. To say it?s based on our technology is patently wrong, but the spec isn?t finished yet - in response to Tensor, we?ve added things to it, but they won?t be resolved till we have a meeting on Monday.?
He added that the API, which was based on C, had been completely rewritten to address Web development. It would appear in two versions, one supporting Corba and the other COM, but developers wanting to support both, could write to both specifications.
However, Menninger denied that the API was short on support. ?We don?t know the exact number of companies that will support it because none have signed on the dotted line yet, but we expect it to be significant,? he said.
Moon's dark side is mountainous, rugged and never visible from the Earth
The groundwater basins in some areas of Tehran have been damaged irreversibly
This is the first time that any spacecraft on Mars has recorded air vibrations on the planet
Arctic sea ice is thickening at a faster rate during winter, thus slowing down long-term decline: NASA
But, the seasonal ice growth could only delay the demise of the Arctic ice cap for a few more decades