OLTP Vs OLAP - The Ultimate Comparison

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DBMS Course - Master the Fundamentals and Advanced Concepts
DBMS Course - Master the Fundamentals and Advanced Concepts
by Srikanth Varma
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Topics Covered

Overview

The two terms OLTP and OLAP look kinda similar, but they relate to two different types of systems.

Online transaction processing (OLTP) is a system that stores capture and processes data in a real-time.

In, Online analytical processing (OLAP), complex queries are used to analyze collected historical data from the OLTP systems.

What is OLTP?

OLTP is an abbreviated form of Online Transaction Processing, OLTP systems provide transaction-oriented applications. Transaction data is gathered and maintained in a database by an OLTP system. Individual database entries comprise numerous fields or columns in each transaction. OLTP systems are used by organizations for day-to-day transactions.

Examples of OLTP systems:

  • Banking software.
  • Online ticket booking software.
  • Messaging.
  • Data Entry.
  • E-Commerce purchasing and order management.

What is OLAP?

OLAP is an abbreviated form of Online Analytical processing, OLAP consists of software or tools that are used for analytics and getting insights from databases for making business decisions.

OLAP software provides an environment for analyzing data from multiple databases at one time. OLAP systems can make use of transactions from databases of OLTP systems and applies queries on that data for analytical purposes, data mining, or BI(business intelligence) projects, the major factor that determines the performance of these systems is the response time taken to analyze the database.

OLAP databases help decision-makers to take decisions based on the analytic data provided by OLAP systems.

Examples of OLAP systems:

  • Data Warehouses
  • Movie recommendation system
  • Music recommendation systems
  • Marketing trends analytical system

OLAP products:

  • Oracle OLAP
  • Oracle Essbase
  • IBM Cognos

Key Difference Between OLTP Vs OLAP

The primary difference between OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) and OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) lies in their core purpose and data handling. OLTP systems are designed to process transactions in real time, with short and frequent transactions and simple queries while OLAP systems are designed for complex data analysis and reporting, with long and infrequent transactions and complex queries.

OLTP systems are well-suited for tasks such as processing customer orders and tracking inventory levels, while OLAP systems are well-suited for tasks such as generating reports on sales trends and identifying customer segments.

OLAP Vs OLTP: Detailed Comparison

Below are the major difference between OLAP and OLTP systems :

oltp-vs-olap

There are many parameters on which we are comparing OLAP vs OLTP systems.

S. NoParametersOLAPOLTP
1DefinitionOLAP consists of software or tools used for analytics and getting insights from databases for business decisions.OLTP systems provide transaction-oriented applications. Transaction data is gathered and maintained in a database by an OLTP system.
2Data SourceOLAP systems can make use of transactions from databases of OLTP systemsOLTP systems work on current data, and they are the sources of data themselves
3CharacteristicLarge volume of data to work onLarge number of short transactions
4Method usedThese systems make use of data warehouseThese systems make use of DBMS (database management system)
5ApplicationUsed for analytics, data mining, and decision-makingUsed for storing data for daily business tasks or transactions.
6FunctionalityThese systems works on database queries and information retrievalThese systems works on data manipulation and can modify database
7NormalizationTables are not normalized in these systemsTables are normalized up to 3NF in these systems
8Data IntegrityIn these systems, data doesn't get usually updated, so data integrity is not an issueOLTP must maintain data integrity.
9PurposeIts main function is to get or extract useful data from the databaseIts main function is to insert, update or delete data from the database, i.e. data manipulation.
10Response timeResponse time of OLAP systems can vary from seconds to minutes as a huge amount of data is extracted from the databaseResponse time of OLTP systems is in milliseconds as small transactions take place each time which does not take much time.
11Volume of DataLarge amount of data is required and is stored, i.e. data can be in TBs, PBs, etc.a Large amount of data is not required as transactions are maintained only, and historical data is archived, i.e. data can be MBs, GBs, etc.
12OperationsIt allows read operations and rarely the write operationsThese systems allow read and write operations.
13AudienceIt is a customer-oriented processIt is a market-oriented process
14BackupOLAP systems require backup from time to time, backup is not important as the data is always retrieved from the databaseBack-up is very important as data loss can hinder analytical purposes. Hence data backup is maintained rigorously.
15Database Designdatabase is designed with a focus on the subject.database is designed that is focused on the application.
16productivityIncreases the productivity of a business and analysisIncreases the productivity of a user.
17Number of usersdatabase can only be accessible to hundreds of usersdatabase allows thousands and more users.
18SpeedIt ensures quicker results for fetching and working on the queriesIt ensures the transactions are fast with no delay on a daily and regular basis.
19Performance metricquery throughput is the performance metric for this systemTransaction throughput is the performance measure for this system.
20User typeUsed by Data users like workers, managers, and CEOs of an organization.used by Data critical users like clerks, DBA & Data Base professionals

Benefits of Using OLTP Method :

  • Response times are quick.
  • Transactions involving modest bits of data involving a large number of users.
  • Transaction volume is lower.
  • Data updates, insertions, removals, and basic searches are examples of simple transactions.
  • Data sets with indexes for quick search, query, and retrieval.
  • Transactions involving a limited number of database records and a small amount of data.

Benefits of Using OLAP Services :

  • Multidimensional data with a business focus.
  • Calculations with a business focus.
  • Data and calculations that can be trusted.
  • Analyzing the speed of thought.
  • Reporting is flexible and self-service.
  • Growth of Advanced Analytics.
  • Increase user self-service and productivity.
  • Share data intelligently and securely.

Drawbacks of Using the OLTP Method :

  • Staff Dependency is High.
  • Complex queries and structure.
  • Discreet Information.
  • Concurrent Data Modifications can cause loss of data integrity.
  • There can be a Risk of Data Loss.
  • Integrity of data is important.

Drawbacks of Using OLAP Services :

  • Extreme reliance on technology.
  • Capacity for calculating is useless.
  • A large amount of storage is required
  • Can't be used by multiple users.
  • Response time is slow.
  • This is a theoretical model.
  • Unusual and unanticipated danger.

Conclusion

  • In conclusion, OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) and OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) are two distinct types of database systems optimized for different purposes within an organization.
  • OLTP systems are designed for processing large volumes of transactions in real time, while OLAP systems are designed for complex data analysis and reporting.
  • While OLTP maintains the current state of data, OLAP provides the historical context and insights needed for strategic planning and business intelligence.
  • Organizations often utilize both OLTP and OLAP systems, with data integration mechanisms, to strike a balance between operational efficiency and data-driven decision-making.
  • The choice between OLTP and OLAP should align with an organization’s specific needs, with the understanding that they serve different functions within the data ecosystem.