SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is the technology from the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack to develop Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) solutions. Over the years SSAS has evolved and has emerged as a leader in the area of analytical solutions. SSAS generally uses a data warehouse as a data source and contains data objects like cubes, dimensions, measures, aggregations hosted in a SSAS database. SSAS also offers options to select a variety of server modes like Multi-dimensional, Tabular and PowerPivot. Multi-dimensional expressions (MDX) and Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) are the two primary query and expression languages which are used to query SSAS database objects.
A typical analytical data model development process using SSAS involves the following steps:
In this tutorial we will explore this life-cycle for Multi-dimensional as well
as Tabular SSAS data models. The tutorial is structured in the following
We will be using a sample ready-to-use multi-dimensional as well as tabular model as a base solution to explore different aspects of SSAS data models. Now that we understand the structure of this tutorial, let's get started with the basic terms and concepts of SSAS.