Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Unleashed

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-12-14
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing

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Direct from the Analysis Services (AS) design team, the definitive guide to AS 2008 - with fully updated coverage of all new features.  Illuminates Analysis Services 2008, the foundation of Microsoft's Business Intelligence strategy, and a key focus of SQL Server 2008.  Gives readers detailed, comprehensive insight into how Analysis Services 2008 functions, and how to get the most out of it.  Authors work on the Analysis Services team at Microsoft; the book is filled with insider knowledge not available elsewhere. An enormous worldwide community of database professionals has eagerly awaited Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. The most powerful analytics toolset Microsoft has ever created, Analysis Services 2008 is the foundation of Microsoft's next-generation Business Intelligence strategy. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Unleashed is the first book to offer the comprehensive insights these professionals need to build enterprise-class OLAP solutions with Analysis Services 2008 rapidly and efficiently. Using this book, developers, architects, and DBAs can create solutions that uncover new opportunities, give managers actionable insights, and solve real business problems. The authors are key members of the Analysis Services team, and can offer insights and advice not available anywhere else.

Author Biography

Irina Gorbach is a senior development lead at Microsoft. She joined the Analysis Services team soon after its creation over 11 years ago. During her work at Microsoft, Irina has designed and developed many features of the Analysis Services product, and was responsible for client subsystem: OLEDB and ADOMD.Net. Irina was in the original group of architects that designed XML for Analysis specification; she worked on the architecture and design of calculation algorithms and currently is working on scalability of Analysis Services.


Alexander Berger was one of the first developers to work on OLAP systems at Panorama, prior to their purchase by Microsoft. After the acquisition, Alexander led the development of Microsoft OLAP Server through all of its major releases prior to SSAS 2008. Currently, Alexander leads the Business Intelligence department for Microsoft adCenter. He is one of the architects of OLEDB for the OLAP standard and MDX language, and holds more than 30 patents in the area of multidimensional databases.


Edward Melomed is one of the original members of the Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services team. He arrived in Redmond as part of Microsoft’s acquisition of Panorama Software Systems, Inc., which led to the technology that gave rise to Analysis Services 2008. He works as a program manager at Microsoft and plays a major role in the infrastructure design for the Analysis Services engine.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Introduction to Analysis Services
Introduction to OLAP and Its Role in Business Intelligencep. 7
The Multidimensional Data Modelp. 8
The Conceptual Data Modelp. 9
The Application Data Modelp. 9
The Physical Data Modelp. 9
Unified Dimensional Modelp. 11
Basic Conceptsp. 13
Spacep. 17
Describing Multidimensional Spacep. 17
Dimension Attributesp. 20
Cellsp. 22
Measuresp. 22
Aggregation Functionsp. 23
Subcubesp. 24
Client/Server Architecture and Multidimensional Databases: An Overviewp. 27
Two-Tier Architecturep. 28
One-Tier Architecturep. 29
Three-Tier Architecturep. 30
Four-Tier Architecturep. 31
Distributed Systemsp. 32
Distributed Storagep. 32
Thin Client/Thick Clientp. 32
Creating Multidimensional Models
Conceptual Data Modelp. 37
Data Definition Language
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Introduction IntroductionAnalysis Services began as the project of a small Israeli firm named Panorama, which had responded to a request from a British publishing company to develop an application that would analyze the data stored in its relational database. By the end of 1994, Panorama developers began work on a more general application that would make it possible for business managers to analyze data with relative ease.With its first release in 1995, Panorama deployed the application to several dozen customers. As the next release moved the application more deeply into the Israeli market, the Panorama team began to develop a new client/server analytical application. The server would process the data and store it in a proprietary format, and the client would also offer users an easy-to-use, rich graphical interface.By 1996, the application had come to the attention of Microsoft, which acquired the technology by the end of that same year. In early 1997, a small Panorama team comprised of Alexander Berger, Amir and Ariel Netz, Edward Melomed, and Mosha Pasumansky moved from Tel Aviv to Redmond to start work on the first version of Microsoft OLAP Server. After the move to the United States, the team added new developers Irina Gorbach and Py Bateman.To make the application attractive to enterprise customers, the team took on the challenge of formalizing and standardizing data exchange protocols, and they eliminated the client side of the application in favor of supporting a variety of third-party client applications. In early 1997, a small group including Alexander Berger retreated to a Puget Sound island to brainstorm the foundation of what would become SQL Server Analysis Services.That retreat produced a plan for developing a standard protocol for client applications to access OLAP data: OLEDB for OLAP. More important, and more challenging, was the plan for developing a new query language that could access multidimensional data stored in the OLAP serverMDX (Multidimensional Expressions). MDX is a text language similar to SQL. MDX makes it possible to work with a multidimensional dataset returned from a multidimensional cube. From its inception, MDX has continued to change and improve, and now it is the de facto standard for the industry.The original release plan was to include the OLAP server in the 1997 release of SQL Server 6.5. However, instead of rushing to market, Microsoft decided to give the development team more time to implement MDX and a new OLEDB for OLAP provider. Microsoft's first version of a multidimensional database was released in 1998 as part of SQL Server 7.0. That version was integrated with Microsoft Excel PivotTables, the first client for the new server.Under the slogan, "multidimensionality for the masses," this new multidimensional database from Microsoft opened the market for multidimensional applications to companies of all sizes. The new language and interface were greeted favorably. The simplicity (and, one could say, elegance) of the design made it possible for users to rapidly become proficient with the new product, including users who weren't database experts. Technology that used to be available only to large corporations was now accessible to medium-sized and small businesses. As a result, the market for new applications that use multidimensional analysis has expanded and flourished in an environment

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