In addition to the proCube program used on workstations, the proCube suite includes several other components.
proCube™ Server enables multiple users to share and analyze data concurrently across an intranet or the Internet. proCube Server is typically installed on a shared network server, providing proCube functionality to multiple users of the proCube client—the workstation application—and managing shared access to the proCube database. It also coordinates functions from other modules such as Replication Server and Xchange.
The following figure shows proCube Server with several concurrent proCube clients:
Figure 1. proCube Server with Multiple Users
proCube Server works on any machine using single or multiple CPUs running Microsoft Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition, Windows 2003 Standard x64, Windows 2008 Enterprise, or Windows 2008 Standard x64 (x64 version of Windows is recommended). Note that with the proper hardware and software requirements fulfilled, proCube Server can be installed on a workstation for a self-sufficient, standalone system. Although the service itself has no visible interface when it runs, the Server Control Program has an extensive user interface with point-and-click functionality.
The proCube Server application allows multiple concurrent proCube client applications to read and write proCube data. In contrast to a local database, meaning a standalone database opened on a workstation, the server database is maintained on the server machine and only the requested data is transferred to the proCube client application. The data is maintained in the memory of the server machine to provide quick access.
Since multiple clients have access to the database, the server component must enforce the necessary data integrity. Therefore, only one user at a time is allowed to modify metadata (except slices). Fact data modification is based on a “last in wins” scenario.
From a technical perspective, the networking portion of the server is a scalable, protocol-independent communication class application utilizing multiple threads over TCP/IP and the Winsock 2.0 specification.
Server and Database Managers
proCube Server includes two managers:
Server Manager stops and starts the server and monitors users.
the Database Manager administers databases on the server level.
Figure 2. Server Manager
Figure 3. Database Manager
proCube Web is a browser-based version of the proCube end-user program, with many additional features and functions that provide a robust reporting tool along with portal-like capabilities. The Web interface combines the anytime/anywhere advantage of the Internet and the convenience of the browser with the multidimensional power of proCube.
The following figure shows the main page of proCube Web, the Report Viewer:
Figure 4. proCube Web’s Report Viewer Page
Xchange is proCube’s data interface component. It provides a dynamic, bi-directional, and incremental linkage between data in a source, transaction-processing system and the proCube analytical engine. Xchange includes a point-and-click interface that enables a mapping to be defined between the relational tables and the multidimensional cubes in proCube. It then generates the SQL code necessary to update the cube data on a periodic basis.
The following figure shows the integration of various relational databases with proCube through the use of Xchange.
Figure 5. proCube Xchange in the Corporate Data Environment
Because it is bi-directional, data can be entered in proCube to update the relational database; and a unique "Drill-Through" feature enables proCube users—even from Excel—to list the individual records in the source database that make up a data point in a cube. Being dynamic and incremental, changes in the source system can be conveyed instantly to proCube without rebuilding entire cubes. Xchange means an end to batching, importing, or manually reconciling data between separate systems.