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Post-relational and multidimensional databases critqued

What is meant by "post-relational database" and "multidimensional database"?

Please forgive me if I seem a bit cynical, but you've hit one of my "hot buttons" with this question. These phrases are often used by marketing people to describe things they don't understand well enough to explain clearly.

"Multidimensional database" is a phrase used when they mean a multidimensional store that is implemented using a relational database. What they really mean is ROLAP.

The phrase "post-relational database" is usually used without any real formal definition, to imply that the product being discussed is somehow "new and improved" without getting bogged down in how that might be! In my experience, it can be safely translated as "we don't follow standards well".

My suggestion would be to pose your question to whoever is using these terms. Watch for the "deer in the headlights" look on their face. If you are feeling particularly obnoxious, press them for a clear answer, but I wouldn't expect them to be able to give you one.

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