Five Basic Steps for Implementing an Analysis Services Database
To learn an application, nothing beats getting it up and running. Getting started with Analysis Services can be frustrating unless you have a clear and simple guide that gets you started quickly. In this article, the first in a quick-start series on SSAS, BI and Data Warehousing, Rob Sheldon gets you off the runway, and flying.
At the core of the SQL Server relational database management system (RDBMS) lies the database engine, which is optimized to support thousands of concurrent transactions while ensuring the integrity of the data and the management of resources. Applications accessing data in a well-designed relational database can swiftly retrieve and update the data—that is, as long as the queries used by the application don’t try to aggregate large volumes of information. When such queries do have to be performed, a SQL Server Analysis Services cube often provides a more efficient solution than the typical relational database.
An Analysis Services cube is a multidimensional structure that pre-aggregates data across multiple dimensions. For example, a cube can store a company’s total worldwide sales across product lines and sales regions. For any combination of product line and region (such as the mountain bike product line and North America region), the cube can store the pre-calculated aggregation of the sales total.