Learning SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 and MDX - resources online
If you decided to learn Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) 2005, there are many free online resources that can help you to achieve this. This article lists links to some of these resources.
Analysis Services Software
Microsoft allows you to order or download trial software so you can install it on your machine and learn by using. Analysis Services 2005 comes as part of the package of SQL Server 2005. You cannot download/order it separately from SQL Server. Follow this link to start order/download process:
After installation do not forget to install latest service packs.
Actually, you do not even need to install Analysis Services on your machine to start to work on it. You can use Virtual labs provided by Microsoft. At the time of writing this article following virtual labs where available:
- Business Intelligence: Service Analysis Virtual Lab
- Business Intelligence Upgrade Virtual Lab – Upgrading Analysis Services to SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services
- Business Intelligence: Excel 2007 PivotTables and Analysis Services Virtual Lab
Click here to see currently available virtual labs on SQL Server analysis services.
Click here to see currently avaliable BI virtual labs.
Webcasts and presentations on demand
Another great place to learn about SQL Server Analysis Services is webcasts and presentations on demand. At the time of writing this article there were 59 webcasts related to analysis services available on demand that you can find here. On the same page you can also find links to live webcasts that will be held in the near future. Usually few days/weeks after live webcast you can see recorded version in the webcasts on demand section.
Some more interesting webcasts and presentations from conferences are listed on our site: http://www.ssas-info.com/analysis-services-webcasts.
If you just starting to understand how to build SQL Server Analysis Services database and what results to expect, consider checking presentation "Excel 2007- Building Business Intelligence Solutions Using Excel and SQL Server 2005 Analysis". Although this presentations supposed to be about Excel 2007, actually you will see how to build analysis services database from scratch and how results will look in Excel 2007.
Craig Utley recently started website with free SSAS and Performance Point learning material. You'll need to register on his website, but all videos are free and good quality.
One of the top rated video learning material on this website is "App Dev SSAS sample training CD".
To understand OLAP terminology, you can also watch this video. Although this video is for Performance Point, most of the video talks about SSAS.
There are many articles online that will help you start to learn SQL Server Analysis Services 2005. Please check http://www.ssas-info.com/analysis-services-articles for the list of available articles on various SSAS topics.
Forums / Newsgroups
If you have any questions about Analysis Services design and management or MDX, there are forums and newsgroups available were many experts will help you to find solution. You'll be surprised how quickly you can get answers in these places. It is important to describe your problem as clearly as possible. If you can reproduce your problem in Adventure Works demo database, that makes life for people trying to help you much easier.
To my knowledge there are two active forums that focuses on Microsoft Analysis Services:
- MSDN Forum - SQL Server analysis services
- Newsgroup microsoft.public.sqlserver.olap on the news server msnews.microsoft.com. This newsgroup could be also accessed using developersdex or google groups sites.
Even you can find a lot of resources on Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 online, sooner or latter you will need to get few good books. There are very few books dedicated to SSAS 2005 and MDX. Most of them are listed here: http://www.ssas-info.com/analysis-services-books.
There are many companies that provide training online, on site or in public clases. Here you can find a sample list of these training providers.