Difference Between OLTP and OLAP (Full Details)

Despite what their names sound like, there is a big difference between the two. One takes care of real-time processes, and the other helps analyze huge amounts of data to improve the organization’s abilities. Let’s learn a bit more about the difference between the two in this article.

Difference Between OLTP and OLAP Full Details

What is OLTP?

Online Transactional Processing, or OLTP, systems handle a lot of transactions that are going on at the same time. But what do the deals mean?

Well, Transactions are processes that happen all at once and independently of each other. They either add, change, or remove information from a database. When a transaction is completed successfully, the changes it makes to a database stay in the database even if the system fails.

The data about transactions is kept in Relational Databases, which make sure that transactions have ACID properties. This data is written and asked for at a very fast rate to make sure that processing doesn’t take too long.

OLTP is in charge of transactions because they are the most important things we do every day. OLTP processes handle all kinds of online transactions, such as online shopping, hotel bookings, ATM transactions, etc.

Characteristics of OLTP

  • Real-time transactions are handled by it.
  • These programs alter database data.
  • They deal with transactions that fall within the ACID characteristics.
  • These systems use relational databases to store data.
  • OLTP transactions are typically implemented very quickly, on the order of milliseconds.

What is OLAP?

An OLAP system does online analytical processing. The historical data that OLTP inputs is stored in OLAP databases. It enables the user to view various multi-dimensional data summaries. You can take data from a sizable database and use OLAP to evaluate it for decision-making.

A user can utilize OLAP to run sophisticated queries and extract multidimensional data. Even if an OLTP transaction fails in the middle, the data integrity will not be harmed because the user is using an OLAP system to obtain data from a sizable database for analysis. The user only needs to run the query one more to extract the data for analysis.

Because OLAP transactions are lengthy, they demand a lot of space and take significantly longer to process. OLAP transactions happen less frequently than OLTP transactions. Even the OLAP database’s tables might not be normalized. Viewing a financial report, budget, marketing management, sales report, etc. is an example of using OLAP.

Characteristics of OLAP

  • It deals with facts from the past.
  • The data is not altered by these systems.
  • It saves data in multidimensional form in data warehouses.
  • It serves the goal of data analysis.
  • The information is never changed.

Comparison Table (OLTP vs OLAP)

OLTP(Online Transactional Processing)OLAP(Online Analytical Processing)
FunctionOversees database transactions that modify data.Used for reporting and analytical purposes.
SourceOrganizational transactions in real time.Data is combined from different OLTP databases.
QueriesSimpler queries.Complex queries.
Storage formatRelational databases use a tabular format.Multidimensional form in OLAP cubes.
OperationRead and writeRead-only
Response timeFast processing since queries are simple.Slower than OLTP
UsersExecutives, Data scientistsProgrammers, Database professionals

Key Differences Between OLTP and OLAP

  • The difference between OLTP and OLAP is that OLTP is an online transaction system while the OLAP is an online system for data retrieval and analysis.
  • Data from online transactions serves as the OLTP’s data source. But the many OLTP databases end up being the OLAP data sources.
  • The primary functions of OLTP are insert, update, and delete, whereas the primary function of OLAP is the extraction of multidimensional data for analysis.
  • While OLAP has long, less frequent transactions, OLTP has shorter, more frequent transactions.
  • In comparison to OLTP, OLAP transactions take longer to process.
  • In comparison to OLTPs, OLAP queries are more complicated.
  • The tables in an OLTP database are required to be normalized (3NF), but not in an OLAP database.
  • Because OLTPs often carry out database transactions, if a transaction fails in the middle, the integrity of the data could be compromised. While with OLAP, the transaction is less frequent, hence data integrity is less of an issue.


What is OLAP and OLTP with example?

On-line analytical processing is known as OLAP. It is used to analyze data from numerous databases at once, such as for market research, budgeting, and other purposes including sales analysis and forecasting. The OLAP system used in data warehouses is an example. On-line transactional processing is known as OLTP.


If you choose “Analysis Services” as the server type while using SQL Server Management Studio to connect to SQL Server, it is an OLAP server; if you select “Database Engine,” it is an OLTP server.

What is OLTP example?

Today’s businesses frequently use OLTP systems for data processing. Order entry, retail sales, and financial transaction systems are traditional examples of OLTP systems.


While OLAP is an online historical multidimensional data retrieval system, OLTP is an online data modification system that retrieves data for analysis that might aid in decision-making. Which one to use will depend on the user’s needs because they serve distinct purposes.