Optimizing Dimension Data Security
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Written by Teo Lachev   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 20:06

Dimension data security is a great feature of Analysis Services and one of the top reasons to strongly consider a semantic layer in your BI implementations, as I mentioned in my "Why Semantic Layer" newsletter. That's because the server automatically secures the cube at connect time so you don't have to implement your own security framework and secure every report query. If you are new to dimension data security, I covered it in various places including this article that I wrote for SQL Magazine a while back. One thing to be aware of is that the server applies dimension data security when the user sends the first query after the connection is established even if this query doesn't specifically request the secured dimension, e.g. SELECT NULL ON 0 FROM [CubeName]. Many things happen at this point (see the steps after "Dimension security is applied to all attributes" in this Mosha blog). This initialization sequence is the price you need to pay to have your entire cube secured. The initialization duration depends on many factors, including the size of the dimension, the size of the allowed set, and the cube script. However, you have some control over the initial performance hit or at least to offset it.

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