What kind of a data base is OLAP? What is OPAP?

I read a resume of a person who said he has OLAP experience, what is that, and how does it compare to IMS, DB2, etc? What does OLAP mean?

Moderator’s Note: This looks like it’s just a question, not a debate.

Off to GQ.


My understanding of OLAP – which is not very sophisticated, mind you – is that an OLAP database is primarily used for reporting, vs. an OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) database which contains live production data used by the enterprise.

The OLAP database in an organization will be updated at scheduled intervals via dumps of data from the OLTP database. The dump from the OLTP would crunch the data in various ways in order to optimise queries that are used for reporting. When management wants a report that distills huge amounts of data, the OLTP database can produce the results quickly, because the slow, number-crunching parts of the query have already been performed.

Btw, OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing.