MOLAP (multidimensional online analytical processing) is online analytical processing (OLAP) that indexes directly into a multidimensional database. In general, an OLAP application treats data multidimensionally; the user is able to view different aspects or facets of data aggregates such as sales by time, geography, and product model. If the data is stored in a relational data base, it can be viewed multidimensionally, but only by successively accessing and processing a table for each dimension or aspect of a data aggregate. MOLAP processes data that is already stored in a multidimensonal array in which all possible combinations of data are reflected, each in a cell that can be accessed directly. For this reason, MOLAP is, for most uses, faster and more user-responsive than relational online analytical processing (ROLAP), the main alternative to MOLAP. There is also hybrid OLAP (HOLAP), which combines some features from both ROLAP and MOLAP.
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MOLAP is often used as part of a data warehouse application.