I spent a bit of time working with the now defunct Holos product. (Crystal Decisions did a Computer Associates on it but that’s a story for another day).
For those who do not know about Holos, it was the bees knees of OLAP products and based on my exposure to competitor products since, I would say it is still up there. It’s problem was that it did not have a sexy front end but I digress. (I’ll leave that story for another day too)
It had a Native Windows and Macintosh GUI front end that would allow a user to browse the contents of a cube. You could change views by dragging and dropping the dimension names.
A lot of products rely on Excel as a client. This has it’s place but you cannot get in and quickly slice and dice. The Excel clients are very easy to stuff up. The Holos Worksheet was impossible to stuff up – well, if you tried to read a 25 dimension cube and embed 20 of them you could. The nice thing was that you could drag and drop but you couldn’t have non-sensical combinations like you could in, say Cognos Powerplay.
Please could someone tell me if there is such a tool out there that can browse Essbase cubes or Analysis Services cubes in a similarly elegant fashion.