The demand for data integration is rapidly becoming larger as more and more information sources appear in modern enterprises. In the data warehousing approach, selected information is extracted in advance and stored in a repository. This approach is used because of its high performance. However, in many situations a logical (rather than physical) integration of data is preferable. Previous web-based data integration efforts have focused almost exclusively on the logical level of data models, creating a need for techniques focused on the conceptual level. Also, previous integration techniques for web-based data have not addresses the special needs of OLAP tools such as handling dimensions with hierarchies.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is fast becoming the new standard for data representation and exchange on the World Wide Web. The rapid emergence of XML data on the web, e.g., business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce, is making it necessary for OLAP and other data analysis tools to handleXML data as well as traditional data formats.