Microsoft has refused to join a group of vendors recently setup to create a Java-based platform-independent application programming interface (API) for online analytical processing (Olap).
The so-called Jolap initiative, which was launched this week, is being developed within the Java Community Process standards setting programme. The idea for a Java-based API originally came from Olap vendor Hyperion and was soon adopted by several other companies including IBM, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.
Jolap aims to save time and effort by allowing developers to write to one API instead of supporting different interfaces from multiple Olap server vendors.
However, Microsoft said it has no plans to build Jolap support into its products, arguing that it already has a widely adopted specification of its own called OLE DB for Olap. According to a spokesperson, this specification is accessible from a wide array of programming languages, and already accomplishes what Jolap will provide.
Tobin Gilman, director of strategic marketing at Hyperion, said he was disappointed with Microsoft's decision. "It doesn't sound like [Microsoft] wants to get with the rest of the industry. It doesn't sound like it is terribly interested in platform independence and open systems," he said.
The Jolap specifications are expected to be complete by the middle of next year.
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