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SAS OLAP Server overview


Build consistent OLAP cubes using an integrated ETL process.

Using a simplified ETL process, SAS OLAP Server makes it easy to build consistent OLAP cubes from disparate systems. Integrated metadata ensures that consistent information is delivered across the enterprise and enables IT to quickly justify data integrity.

Quickly populate your BI applications with stable, summarized data.

SAS OLAP Server quickly delivers information to business intelligence applications, irrespective of the amount of underlying data. Summarizing data at several levels of detail before storing provides the summarized data that business intelligence applications require without the need for additional “on-the-fly” processing.

Free IT from constantly creating ad hoc reports and data summaries.

Because summarized data is organized along business lines, users can get the reports they need without involving IT, freeing IT from the constant work of creating reports and data summaries.


Industrial-strength, multidimensional database:

  • Designed to handle large volumes of business intelligence data.
  • Supports multidimensional (MOLAP) and hybrid (HOLAP) data stores.
  • Routines enable SAS procedures to query the SAS OLAP Server by using SQL
  • Pass-Through with reach-through from multidimensional data to the underlying detailed data.

Native support for open industry standards:

  • OLE DB for OLAP.
  • Fully compliant implementation of MDX query language for communication with third-party clients.
  • With SAS software’s open architecture, cubes can be surfaced via the Web, through Microsoft Excel as pivot tables, as well as through SAS or other standards-based browsers.

Fast processing of queries:

  • Multithreaded query engine.
  • Data can be spread across multiple disk systems, providing parallel read access for query threads.
  • Cluster management for load-balanced servers.

Easy-to-use GUIs for building and maintaining OLAP cubes:

  • Included with SAS OLAP Server, SAS OLAP Cube Studio makes it easy to define data dimensions and aggregations.
  • SAS OLAP Cube Studio is integrated with SAS Data Integration Studio so you can build cubes from cleansed data sources and load them for later use and updating.
  • Java-based wizard facilitates designing, creating, updating and tuning OLAP cubes.
  • Create a set of dimensions once, then share those with other cubes, providing consistent hierarchies and saving system resources. Update the set and apply across shared cubes.

Optimization of summarized data to conserve system resources:

  • Seldom accessed data can be stored in a compressed format.
  • Frequently queried data can be cached in memory for faster access.
  • Dimensions, hierarchies, and metrics (metadata) are stored in the cube itself, while data remains in the database and is only queried at run time, reducing data duplication and cube processing time.

Centralized metadata with security credentials preserved on drill-through:

  • All metadata is stored in a single, open location – the SAS Metadata Server. SAS OLAP Server is fully integrated into the open security model maintained in SAS Metadata Server that is used across all SAS products and solutions.

Multiple-language support:

  • Use translated captions via caption tables.
  • Support for natural language format for measures.
  • Sophisticated, language-aware ordering of data.

Powerful interfaces for OLAP server monitoring:

  • Define OLAP data servers and their configuration parameters, including performance logging options.
  • Application Response Management (ARM) classes used to monitor all server activities.
  • Result sets can be transferred to SAS or third-party clients, such as HP-UX Workload Manager, in order to monitor activity and performance.


Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a technology that is used to create decision-support software. OLAP enables application users to quickly analyze information that has been summarized into multidimensional views and hierarchies.


SAS OLAP Server is a scalable server that provides multi-user access to data that is stored in SAS OLAP cubes. The purpose of the SAS OLAP Server is to respond to queries from cube viewers. SAS OLAP queries are performed using the Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) query language in client applications that are connected to the OLAP server by using either OLE DB for OLAP or a similarly designed Java interface. SAS OLAP Server runs in the background on specially configured host computers.

SAS OLAP Cube Studio

SAS OLAP Cube Studio provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface to create and manage SAS OLAP cubes. You can use it to build and edit SAS OLAP cubes, to incrementally update cubes, to tune aggregations, and to make various other modifications to existing cubes. SAS OLAP Cube Studio is part of the SAS software offerings, SAS OLAP Server and SAS Enterprise BI Server.

SAS OLAP Server Monitor

SAS OLAP Server Monitor plug-in for SAS Management Console enables you to manage tasks that are specific to the SAS OLAP Server. You can configure SAS OLAP Servers, administer the connection to a SAS OLAP Server, monitor sessions that are running on a SAS OLAP Server, and monitor queries that are being processed by a SAS OLAP Server. You can also enable and disable cubes and refresh cube metadata.

The most recent releases are SAS OLAP Cube Studio 4.4 and SAS OLAP Server 9.4.

What’s New in SAS 9.4 OLAP Server

The SAS 9.4 OLAP Server has several new features for 9.4:

  • new OLAPCONTENTS procedure for generating reports of OLAP cube information
  • new OLAPCONFIG method for setting SAS OLAP Server options in batch mode
  • updated OLAPOPERATE procedure
  • new MDX Case statement
  • new VISUALTOTALS_BEHAVIOR option for calculated measures
  • Starting in the first maintenance release for SAS 9.4, a new LOGICALSERVERNAME option has been added to the OLAPOPERATE procedure.
  • Beginning in SAS 9.4, you can enable execution of user defined (FORMAT procedure style) formats in SPDS. See the topic” Improving ROLAP Throughput Performance with SPDS” in the SAS 9.4 OLAP Server User’s Guide.
  • Starting in the first maintenance release for SAS 9.4, a new INSTR MDX function has been added. See “INSTR” in the SAS 9.4 OLAP Server MDX Guide.
  • Starting in the first maintenance release for SAS 9.4, the LOCKDOWN option and statement are supported by the SAS OLAP Server.
  • The EXISTS MDX function is now documented in the SAS 9.4 OLAP Server: MDX Guide.

In addition, properties for multilingual cubes are automatically updated in multiple languages when reports are generated. And, the SQLRC macro can be used with the SQL pass-through facility for OLAP.

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