Building Analytical Java Applications - OLAP

Java is the language of the Internet. Using Java, an application developer can write standalone Java applications (which can be launched from a browser with Java's WebStart technology), or they can create HTML applications through servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSP), and Oracle User Interface XML (UIX), which access live data from an Oracle Database.

About Java

Java is the preferred programming language for an ever-increasing number of professional software developers. For those who have been programming in C or C++, the move to Java is easy because it provides a familiar environment while avoiding many of the shortcomings of the C language. Developed by Sun Microsystems, Java is fast superseding C++ and Visual Basic as the language of choice for application developers, for the following reasons:

  • Object oriented. Java enables application developers to focus on the data and methods of manipulating that data, rather than on abstract procedures; the programmer defines the desired object rather than the steps needed to create that object. Almost everything in Java is defined as an object.
  • Platform independent. The Java compiler creates byte code that is interpreted at runtime by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). As the result, the same software can run on all Windows, Unix, and Macintosh platforms where the JVM has been installed. All major browsers have the JVM built in.
  • Network based. Java was designed to work over a network, which enables Java programs to handle remote resources as easily as local resources.
  • Secure. Java code is either trusted or untrusted, and access to system resources is determined by this characteristic. Local code is trusted to have full access to system resources, but downloaded remote code (that is, an applet) is not trusted. The Java "sandbox" security model provides a very restricted environment for untrusted code.

The Java Solution for OLAP

To develop an OLAP application, you can use the Java programming language. Java enables you to write applications that are platform-independent and easily deployed over the Internet.

The OLAP API is a Java-based application programming interface that provides access to multidimensional data for analytical business applications. The OLAP API uses OLAP Catalog metadata to access data that is stored either in the relational tables of a star or snowflake schema, or in views of an analytic workspace that has been enabled for its use.

Java classes in the OLAP API provide all of the functions required of an OLAP application: Connection to an OLAP instance; authentication of user credentials; access to data in the RDBMS controlled by the permissions granted to those credentials; and selection and manipulation of that data for business analysis.

The BI Beans simplify application development by providing these functions as JavaBeans. Moreover, the BI Beans include JavaBeans for presenting the data in graphs, crosstabs, and tables.

Note: Oracle JDeveloper and the BI Beans are not packaged with the Oracle RDBMS.

Oracle Java Development Environment

Oracle JDeveloper provides an integrated development environment (IDE) for developing Java applications. Although third-party Java IDEs can also be used effectively, only JDeveloper achieves full integration with the Oracle Database and BI Beans wizards. The following are a few JDeveloper features:

  • Remote graphical debugger with break points, watches, and an inspector.
  • Multiple document interface (MDI)
  • Codecoach feature that helps you to optimize your code
  • Generation of 100% Pure Java applications, applets, servlets, Java beans, and so forth with no proprietary code or markers
  • Oracle Database browser

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