Spreadsheets in RDBMS for OLAP

Andrew Witkowski, Srikanth Bellamkonda, Tolga Bozkaya, Gregory Dorman, Nathan Folkert, Abhinav Gupta, Lei Shen, Sankar Subramanian
2003 Proceedings of the 2003 ACM SIGMOD international conference on on Management of data - SIGMOD '03  
One of the critical deficiencies of SQL is lack of support for ndimensional array-based computations which are frequent in OLAP environments. Relational OLAP (ROLAP) applications have to emulate them using joins, recently introduced SQL Window Functions [18] and complex and inefficient CASE expressions. The designated place in SQL for specifying calculations is the SELECT clause, which is extremely limiting and forces the user to generate queries using nested views, subqueries and complex
more » ... Furthermore, SQL-query optimizer is pre-occupied with determining efficient join orders and choosing optimal access methods and largely disregards optimization of complex numerical formulas. Execution methods concentrated on efficient computation of a cube [11], [16] rather than on random access structures for inter-row calculations. This has created a gap that has been filled by spreadsheets and specialized MOLAP engines, which are good at formulas for mathematical modeling but lack the formalism of the relational model, are difficult to manage, and exhibit scalability problems. This paper presents SQL extensions involving array based calculations for complex modeling. In addition, we present optimizations, access structures and execution models for processing them efficiently.
doi:10.1145/872757.872767 dblp:conf/sigmod/WitkowskiBBDFGSS03 fatcat:g6f52zdz6jfnja3cneqzhqd2mu