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An online analytical processing cube (OLAP cube) is a multidimensional array of data that serves as a database optimized for OLAP applications and data warehousing. It is a way of storing relevant data in a multidimensional form to make it appear more logical when used to generate reports and facilitate more efficient analytics.
Microsoft's multidimensional expressions (MDX) language is used to interact with and command OLAP cubes.
Unlike traditional databases, which are designed according to system requirements, OLAP cubes are developed with business logic for business intelligence (BI) and, thus, are optimized for analytical processes with the ability to report on multiple records simultaneously.
Advantages to OLAP cubes include the following: