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Analysis Services is one of the key components of the Microsoft Business Intelligence technologies. It’s a solid, scalable OLAP server that you can use as the primary or only query engine for even the largest DW/BI system. In Chapter 10, we discuss how to use Analysis Services to build a data mining application.

In this chapter you learned:

  • Once you’ve built a conformed dimensional relational data warehouse database, building the Analysis Services database is relatively easy.

  • The tools and wizards in the BI Studio give you a good head start on the logical design of your cube database.

  • There’s still lots of editing to do when you’ve finished the wizards. And the more challenging your application—in data volumes or complexity—the more careful you need to be in your logical and physical design choices.

  • There’s still more work to do to integrate cube processing with the ETL system. These issues are discussed further in Chapter 15.

  • You must set attribute relationships correctly to get good query performance. The user interface and documentation obscure rather than highlight the importance of attribute relationships.

  • The single most important Analysis Services feature of SQL Server Enterprise Edition is measure group partitioning. Partitioning greatly improves the query and processing performance of your database, and provides greater flexibility in system management. These benefits come with the fairly substantial cost of increased system complexity.

  • Some of the interesting features of Analysis Services, like KPIs and Actions, require work from client software in order to be useful additions to your system.

  • Most features, like calculations, storage mode, advanced processing techniques, and even translations, are available to even the simplest Analysis Services client software.

Analysis Services is a complex piece of software. In this chapter we’ve presented only the bare essentials of the information necessary for you to be successful. The Analysis Services expert on your team should plan to purchase at least one additional book devoted to the subject of Analysis Services 2005.

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