Short explanation of OLAP (On Line Analytical Processing).
Data Warehouse, Data Mart, Three Tier Architecture, and ASP (Active Server Pages).
OLAP or On Line Analytical Processing is a new development used to present information to database users that will allow them to view graphical representations of their data queries in a format very similar to that of SQL (Structured Query Language). With a program like Microsoft's Access, which is also compatible with SQL, any queries requested by the user would return such query in a format where everything related to a specific record would be displayed in the same row as to the record to which it belongs. All the fields requested to the database would be shown on the same line, thus, this could make a record appear to be very long in nature when read by the user on his or her screen. OLAP uses similar principles for displaying data, however; it has certain advantages to the way it is displayed and a disadvantage which is to say that it uses different names to refer to the same items in a query. This last issue mentioned could be confusing to the person reading the information displayed by the query if they do not know or are not used to the way the OLAP displays queried information. For instance OLAP uses Axes. These axes contain the main data the user requested. That is to say in an Access query these would be the rows and the columns. These axes also contain the "Dimensions". These would be the specific information about the axes like time, date, address, etc. Now, any axes that contain more than one dimension will be shown in every combination of the other since they would be related by the axis in any situation in which it is displayed by the query. When referring to OLAP you will also hear the term OLAP Hypercube. This is a term used to describe an OLAP that contains an unlimited amount of axes to be displayed whenever it is queried for information.