Monday, November 1, 2010

olap4j 1.0 - The long road to LTS

Last summer, we at olap4j announced that we would release olap4j 1.0 on October 31st 2010. Now is November 1st and olap4j is still not out of the door. Here's why.

Our reference implementation, the Mondrian project, suffered from delays in the release dates and had to be pushed back. All this kept us very busy and scrambling to make the best of it for a while. But fear not! This very week, the Mondrian team is running QA tests on a 3.2.1-GA build and as soon as it gets the green light, we will be able to put the finishing touches to olap4j 1.0. Why are these projects tied so closely? one might ask. Legitimate question.

You see, every API is a better API if there is at least one reference implementation existing in the wild. For many reasons actually. It allows us to architect, develop and test in a real environment, with real constraints and real data. Several APIs have failed in the past because in the end they were overly complicated for the end user. Some were so overly complicated that in the end, they failed to deliver what an API is supposed to be; a simple interface to a given system. Having a reference implementation mitigates the risk by allowing us to release by little increments and release often, but most importantly, release testable code that works. Another huge advantage is that for every part of the API, there is at least one fully functioning implementation out there, freely available as open sourced software, which implementers can refer to. This is a huge advantage in terms of both project sustainability and project adoption.

So stay tuned, because olap4j 1.0, despite some delays, is right around the corner!