ROLAP – Relational Online Analytical Processing

A type of analytical processing that can perform dynamic and multidimensional analysis against relational databases instead of multidimensional databases commonly used for OLAP processing.

With ROLAP, it is possible to create summary or aggregation database tables that summarize the data at any desired combination of dimensions. The user submits a request for multidimensional analysis which the ROLAP engine converts to SQL for submission to the RDBMS. The ROLAP engine then converts the resulting data to a multidimensional format and returns it to the client for viewing.

ROLAP can handle large volumes of data, although performance can be poor if the database is not optimized. Typically, common queries and pre-calculated results are created and stored in advance to improve performance.