Oracle is folding its OLAP (online analytical processing engine), data mining, and ETL (extraction, transformation and loading) tools into its database engine with the release of 9i, expected in the second half of next year. The goal is to make BI tools accessible to more users.
Aiming to bring decision support to the masses, database vendors have been adding data analysis features to their core database engines to reposition the databases as both data managers and business intelligence platforms.
Oracle's vision involves its 9i database as the centrepiece of a conglomeration of integrated back-end applications, such as ERP and CRM, all of which are accessible to BI tools through a portal interface. The portal itself comprises what Oracle calls Portlets, or views into back-end data sources.