Friday, October 22, 2010

Cell level write-back via PL/SQL

A topic of conversation that regularly comes up when I talk to customers and developers about the OLAP Option is write-back to OLAP cubes. The most frustrating of these conversations usually involves someone saying 'but... the OLAP Option doesn't support write-back'. This is not the case and never has been.

Since the first OLAP Option release in 9i it has always been possible to write-back to cubes via the Java OLAP API and OLAP DML. But in recent releases, a new PL/SQL package based API has been developed. My thanks go to the ever-excellent David Greenfield of the Oracle OLAP product development group for bringing this to my attention.

At the most simple level, it is possible to write to a qualified cell:
SET PRICE_COST_CUBE.PRICE["TIME" = ''24'', PRODUCT = ''26''] = 711.61, SOLVE)')

In the example above, a cube solve is executed after the cell write. The objects are referenced by their logical (ie. AWM) names.

This approach is very flexible. For example you can qualify only some dimensions, in this case the assignment is for all products:
SET PRICE_COST_CUBE.PRICE["TIME" = ''24''] = 711.61, SOLVE)')

You can also skip the aggregation:
SET PRICE_COST_CUBE.PRICE["TIME" = ''24'', PRODUCT = ''26''] = 711.61)')

or run multiple cell updates in one call:
SET PRICE_COST_CUBE.PRICE["TIME" = ''24'', PRODUCT = ''26''] = 711.61,
SET PRICE_COST_CUBE.PRICE["TIME" = ''27'', PRODUCT = ''27''] = 86.82,

You can also copy from one measure to another.'UNITS_CUBE USING (SET LOCAL_CUBE.UNITS = UNITS_CUBE.UNITS'));

This will copy everything from the UNITS measure in UNITS_CUBE to the UNITS measure in the LOCAL_CUBE. You can put fairly arbitrary expressions on the right hand side and the code will attempt to loop the appropriate composite. You can also control status.

For more details, take a look at the PL/SQL reference documentation


bob said...

I went to the documentation link you shared (11gR2 DBMS_CUBE documentation) and looked at the build command. I assume this SET ... command goes into the SCRIPT parameter. I can see no documentation about the SET command. The apparent syntax of the script parameter is:

object [ USING ( commands ) ][,...]

where command is one of CLEAR, LOAD, SOLVE, COMPILE, ANALYZE, EXECUTE, MODEL or AGGREGATE. Is this an undocumented command or am I missing something?

Stuart Bunby said...

Hi Bob,

I am told that this command is simply undocumented at this moment in time.



bob said...

Ahh Thanks!