Archive for the ‘Analysis Services’ Category

Modeling Dimensions with History Tracked, Generic Attributes

July 6, 2012 5 comments

Sometimes, you need to model a database in such a way that you can dynamically extend the model without altering any tables. Perhaps the attributes changes faster than you can add new columns or the data you store has a “ragged” structure that does not lend itself well to being described as a traditional table structure.

The typical approach taken in these cases is to “pivot” the required “flexible columns” of a table into rows instead and dynamically reconstruct the schema at runtime. When you model like this, adding new attributes to the model is simply a question of inserting rows into the database.

As I sure you are aware, there are issues with this approach. Tuning columns into rows  can cause interesting issues for database engines. The flexibility requirement and performance loss to be balanced carefully. In this blog, I will walk you through an example of how to handle this generic case in a star schema.

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Maestro web page online

November 1, 2011 3 comments

The SSAS Maestro training now has a home at the Microsoft domain. You can find it here:

The Analysis Services 2008R2 Performance Guide is Online

October 10, 2011 2 comments

I am happy to announce that companion volumes for performance tuners and operations people are now again, for the first time since Analysis Services 2000, a reality.

As a developer, you can learn about building, tuning and troubleshooting Analysis Services 2005, 2008 and 2008R2 cubes(yes, the guides cover all three editions) in the Performance Guide.

If you are the DBA or operations team, you can read about running such cubes in production in the Operations Guide.

And finally, if you are a consultant, expert developer or cube DBA, you can learn how to build the meanest and largest cubes from the 5 day Analysis Services Maestro Course.

These three artifacts, which I am proud to have contributed to (and for the guides, leading the effort on), are a big milestone in my Analysis Services career. They represent a large amount of knowledge transfer from Microsoft to the field. The publication of the companion volumes also marks my transition into some new and exiting projects at least for the near future. I will busy be digging into more “grade of the steel” work,  among it ROLAP UDM testing, and I hope to blog about over at very soon.

Thanks to everyone for the incredible feedback during the writing of these guys. The Analysis Services community is very vibrant and these guides are the result of our collaboration in the field, and I am happy to give something back.


New blog about Analysis Services

August 22, 2011 1 comment

This week, I welcome friend, coffee connoisseur, large cube runner and coder Pete Adshead to the blogosphere.

Pete is blogging at:  His first blog is about managing SSAS through AMO – and the “interesting” coding pattern you have to adopt.

Have fun reading

Analysis Services Performance Guide in Final Draft

August 14, 2011 Leave a comment

To the Analysis Services crowd out there: Last week I finished the last section of the Analysis Services 2008R2 Performance Guide. Furthermore, I reviewed my co-author Denny Lee’s sections. Denny is currently polishing off a few minor details and we expect to send the draft to our editor early the coming week. I would like the take the opportunity to give you some background on what happens to a whitepaper before you can read it on MSDN.

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That Analysis Services 2008R2 Operations Guide is online

June 1, 2011 10 comments

It is my pleasure to announce that the Operations Guide for SQL Server Analysis Services 2008R2 (and also 2005 and 2008) is now available on MSDN. Written by Denny Lee, John Sirmon (our new SSAS CAT member) and yours sincerely.

The guide describes how to configure, test and operate Analysis Services installations in a production environment. It is more than 100 pages of good information with contributions from a long list of MVP, SSAS specialists and the product group

Here it is: The Analysis Services 2008R2 Operations Guide

It was a pleasure working with you all to get this out there.

Analysis Services Operations Guide in Draft Review

May 4, 2011 Leave a comment

The SQL Server Analysis Services Operations Guide is currently in draft review in NDA form inside Microsoft and with some partners. This means that we will soon be able to publish this long awaited document. I will let you know on this blog when it is out.