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SSAS Essentials

SSAS Essentials

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SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services
Essentials
1. What is SSAS?

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) delivers online analytical
processing (OLAP) and data mining functionality for business intelligence
applications. Analysis Services supports OLAP by letting you design, create, and
manage multidimensional structures that contain data aggregated from other data
sources, such as relational databases. For data mining applications, Analysis
Services lets you design, create, and visualize data mining models that are
constructed from other data sources by using a wide variety of industry-standard
data mining algorithms.

2.Unified data Model: The role of a Unified Dimensional Model (UDM) is to
provide a bridge between the user and the data sources. A UDM is constructed
over one or more physical data sources, and then the end user issues queries
against the UDM using one of a variety of client tools, such as Microsoft Excel.
At a minimum, when the UDM is constructed merely as a thin layer over the data
source, the advantages to the end user are a simpler, more readily understood
model of the data, isolation from heterogeneous backend data sources, and
improved performance for summary type queries. In some scenarios a simple
UDM like this is constructed totally automatically. With greater investment in the
construction of the UDM, additional benefits accrue from the richness of metadata
that the model can provide.

The UDM provides the following benefits:
\u2022
Allows the user model to be greatly enriched.
\u2022
Provides high performance queries supporting interactive analysis, even
over huge data volumes.
\u2022
Allows business rules to be captured in the model to support richer
analysis.
\u2022
Supports \u2018closing the loop\u2019, where the user acts upon the data they see.

3.Data source: A data source in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services
(SSAS) represents a connection to a data source and contains the connection
string that defines how Analysis Services will connect to a physical data store
using a managed Microsoft .NET Framework or native OLE DB provider. The
connection string contains server name, database, security, timeout, and other
connection related information. You manage access to information stored in a data
source by using roles, and the granularity of such access is limited. Analysis
Services stores the metadata for a data source in an XML file, in Analysis
Services Scripting Language (ASSL) format.

4.Data Source Views: A data source view is the metadata definition of the schema
elements used by the UDM and by mining structures stored in an XML format. A
data source view contains the logical model of the schema used by database
objects\u2014namely cubes, dimensions, and mining structures. A data source view:

\u2022

Contains the metadata that represents selected objects from one or more underlying data sources, or the metadata that will be used to generate an underlying relational data store

\u2022
Can be built over one or more data sources, allowing a cube and
dimension to be defined that integrate data from multiple sources
\u2022

Can contain relationships, calculated columns, and queries that are not present in the underlying data source and which exist separate from the underlying data sources

\u2022
Is not visible to client applications

5.Cube: A cube is defined by its measures and dimensions. The measures and
dimensions in a cube are derived from tables and views in the data source view on
which the cube is based. A cube consists of measures based on one or more fact
tables and dimensions based on one or more dimension tables. Dimensions are
based on attributes, which are mapped to one or columns in the dimension tables

or views in the data source view, and then hierarchies are defined from these
attributes.
6.Types of relationships that can be created in the data source view designer
\u2022
A relationship from one table to another table in the same data source.
\u2022
A relationship from one table to itself, as in a parent-child relationship.
\u2022
A relationship from one table in a data source to another table in a different
data source.

7.What is a named calculation?
You can use the Create Named Calculation dialog box in Data Source View
Designer to add a named calculation to a table in a data source view. A named
calculation is a SQL expression represented as a calculated column. This
expression appears and behaves as a column in the table. A named calculation lets
you extend the relational schema of existing tables in a data source view without
modifying the table in the underlying data source.

8. What is a named query?

A named query is a SQL expression represented as a table. In a named query, you
can specify an SQL expression to select rows and columns returned from one or
more tables in one or more data sources. A named query is like any other table in
a data source view with rows and relationships, except that the named query is
based on an expression. The expression appears and behaves as a table in the data
source view. When you create a named query, you specify a name, the SQL query
returning the columns and data for the table, and optionally, a description of the
named query. The SQL expression can refer to other tables in the data source
view. named query lets you extend the relational schema of existing tables in a
data source view without modifying the underlying data source. For example, a
series of named queries can be used to split up a complex dimension table into
smaller, simpler dimension tables for use in database dimensions.

9. What are the roles of a Analysis Services Information Worker?

The role of an Analysis Services information worker is the traditional "domain
expert" role in business intelligence (BI) someone who understands the data
employed by a solution and is able to translate the data into business information.
The role of an Analysis Services information worker often has one of the
following job titles: Business Analyst (Report Consumer), Manager (Report
Consumer), Technical Trainer, Help Desk/Operation, or Network Administrator.

10.What are the roles in SSAS?
\u2022
The server role, a fixed role that provides administrator access to an instance
of Analysis Services.
\u2022
Database roles, roles defined by administrators to control access to objects and
data for non-administrator users.

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