ActivePivot offloads pivot calculations and aggregations from the client process to a backend server. It exposes XMLA interface (among others), which means that if you are an Excel user, you simply define a pivot table and point the data source to the ActivePivot server. From that point onwards, Excel interacts with ActivePivot natively.
The result is a very thin Excel spreadsheet which only displays the aggregated result, and all the number crunching and aggregations take place at the server side. When the user interacts with the pivot table, Excel queries ActivePivot and display the next level. Very nice!
ActivePivot provides hooks for the correlation and aggregation execution, so custom logic can easily be applied.
ActivePivot stores the aggregated cube in memory, which allows it to update the cube and respond to market events, and by that provide intra-day aggregations.
The real time bit is where GigaSpaces fits in
Market data feeds are written into a space using one of GigaSpaces’ APIs (JMS, Remoting, JavaSpaces, etc’), and ActivePivot connect to the space and register for space events. When a tick is updated in the space, the space sends a notification to ActivePivot which in turn re-aggregates the relevant cube branch. This means that the aggregated cube is always updated and reflects the latest market state. In addition ActivePivot queries the space for the raw data when Excel sends a drill-down request, which allows ActivePivot a very quick response time.
ActivePivot can be applied at different areas and provide real time P&L, real time Risk, etc’