SQL Server Analysis Services ( SSAS ) – Introduction
What’s new in SSAS 2005?
SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) provides a unified and integrated view of all the business data as the foundation for the entire user’s traditional reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP) analysis, Key Performance Indicator (KPI) scorecards, and data mining.
1) Analysis Services provides a business semantic model, referred to as the Unified Dimensional Model (UDM) that defines business entities, business logic, calculations, and metrics. Using the powerful new data source view feature, the UDM is mapped to a host of heterogeneous back-end data sources, providing a complete and integrated picture of the business regardless of the location of the data. With friendly descriptions of the business entities, navigation hierarchies, multiple perspectives, and even automatic translations to native languages, users will find it easy to explore corporate business data.
2) The query performance is improved in SSAS 2005 by the help of proactive caching.
Analysis Services maintains a highly compressed and optimized data cache that is maintained automatically as the data in the underlying source databases changes. The cache provides superb query performance and isolates back-end source systems from the load of the analytical queries.
3) Analysis Services provides tools for data mining with which the user can identify rules and patterns in the data, so that the user can determine why things happen and predict what will happen in the future.
4) A set of easy-to-use business intelligence wizards can help even the most novice user model some of the more complex business intelligence problems.
5) SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services sets a new standard for business intelligence servers in enterprise scalability, manageability, and productivity.
a) Scalability:-Analysis Services scales to the most demanding analytical and reporting applications. With a new dimensional architecture, UDM-enabled applications let users quickly perform rich and intuitive ad-hoc analysis using hundreds of dimensions and hierarchies. Hierarchies make it easier for users to navigate and query UDMs with hundreds of millions of members. With an XML/A–based communication protocol that is paired with greatly optimized role–based security, Analysis Services helps a UDM handle thousands of users, enabling enterprise-scale business intelligence applications using Web/middle-tier or client-server architectures.
b) Manageability: – With SQL Server Management Studio, administrators can easily script Analysis Services objects and operations or tasks. Administrators can use a rich editor for MDX and Data Mining extensions (DMX) queries.
c) Productivity:-Integrated with Visual Studio, the intuitive Analysis Services wizards and editors provide a true application development environment, supporting the project’s full life cycle. Source control, versioning, workstation isolation, embedded debugging, and configuration management are some of the benefits of the new Business Intelligence Development Studio.
We had an overview of the SSAS architecture, UDM and the objects used in SSAS.In the next article we will going through Data mining. We will cover the Data mining concepts, algorithms, DMX (Data mining Extensions) language.