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Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytic Processing (OLAP)

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  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 27 Jan, 2020
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Online Transaction Processing (OLTP):
OLTP databases are meant to be used to do many small transactions, and usually serve as a “single source of storage”. An example of OLTP system is online movie ticket booking website. Suppose two persons at the same time wants to book the same seat for the same movie for same movie timing then in this case whoever will complete the transaction first will get the ticket. The key thing to note here is that OLTP systems are designed for transactional priority instead data analysis.

Figure – Pictorial Representation of OLTP

Benefits of using OLTP services:-

  • The main benefit of using OLTP services is it responds to its user actions immediately as it can process query very quickly.
  • OLTP services allows its user to perform operations like read, write and delete data quickly.

Drawbacks of OLTP service:-

  • The major problem with the OLAP services is it is not fail-safe. If there is hardware failures, then online transactions gets affected.
  • OLTP allow users to access and change the data at the same time which cause unprecedented situation.

Online Analytic Processing (OLAP):
OLAP databases on the other hand are more suited for analytics, data mining, less queries but they are usually bigger (they operate on more data). We can say that any Datawarehouse system is an OLAP system. Many company compare their sales of current month with previous month to keep trace of business. Here company compare the sales and keep the result in another location, which is a separate database. Here company uses OLAP databases.

Figure – Pictorial Representation of OLAP

Benefits of using OLAP services:-

  • The main benefit of using OLAP services is it helps to keep trace of consistency and calculation.
  • OLAP builds one single platform where we can store planning, analysis and budgeting for business analytics.
  • With the OLAP as service, we can easily apply security restrictions to protect data

Drawbacks of OLAP service:-

  • The major problem with the OLAP services is it always needs IT professionals to handle the data because OLAP tools require a complicated modeling procedure.
  • As mentioned in the benefits of using OLAP services, we can use OLAP as a single platform where we can store planning, analysis and budgeting for business analytics but here we need help of different departments at one time i.e., OLAP tools need cooperation between people of various departments, which leads dependency problem.

The key differences between OLTP and OLAP databases:

OLTP is characterized by a large number of short on-line transactions (INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE).OLAP is characterized by relatively low volume of transactions.
OLTP queries are simple and easy to understand.OLAP Queries are often very complex and involve aggregations.
OLTP is widely used for small transaction.OLAP applications are widely used by Data Mining techniques.
OLTP is highly normalized.OLAP is typically de-normalized.
OLTP is used for Backup religiously.OLAP is used for regular backup.
OLTP usually uses schema used to store transnational databases is the entity model (usually 3NF).OLAP uses star model to store the data.
Performance of OLTP is comparably fast as compared to OLAP.Performance of OLAP is comparably low as compared to OLTP.

OLTP and OLAP services are different from each other, therefore, it is wise to look into the differences and use them wisely as per your application/need demands.

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