Essbase is a multidimensional database management system (MDBMS) that provides a platform upon which to build analytic applications. Essbase, whose name derives from "Extended Spread Sheet dataBASE", was originally developed by Arbor Software, which merged with Hyperion Software in 1998. Hyperion Solutions Corporation was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2007. (Until late 2005 Essbase was also marketed by IBM as DB2 OLAP Server.)
The term "on-line analytical processing" (OLAP) was coined by database researcher E. F. Codd in a whitepaper that set out twelve rules for analytic systems, an allusion to his earlier famous set of twelve rules defining the relational model. This whitepaper, published by Computerworld, was somewhat explicit in its reference to Essbase features, and when it was later discovered that Codd had been sponsored by Arbor Software, Computerworld controversially withdrew the paper.
Many Hyperion products were renamed in 2005, giving Essbase an official name of Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Services, but the new name was largely ignored by practitioners. The Essbase brand was later returned to the official product name for marketing purposes, but the server software still carried the "Analytic Services" title until it was incorporated into Oracle's Business Intelligence product suite.
Hyperion Essbase was named as one of the 10 most influential technology innovations of the last 10 years by Information Age magazine in its 10th anniversary issue. Editor Kenny MacIver said: "Hyperion Essbase was the multi-dimensional database technology that put online analytical processing on the business intelligence map. It has spurred the creation of scores of rival OLAP products – and billions of OLAP cubes".