Tuesday, October 16, 2007

From where do my cubes get their data?

SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 cubes may get their data from a variety of sources, including the following:

SQL Server 7.0/2000/2005 (including SSAS 2005)
Oracle 9.0 (x86 only)
IBM DB2 8.1 - only available for SS 2005 Enterprise Edition or SS 2005 Developer
Access with Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB provider (x86 only)
Teradata v2R6 (x86 only).

More details available here.

In addition to having the ability to obtain data from a variety of sources, SSAS 2005 has an abstraction layer. This abstraction layer was not available in earlier versions of SSAS. The abstraction layer is developed as a data source view. A data source view is a logical data model of one or more data sources. Some of the items that may be included in a data source view include tables, named queries, relationships, and named calculations. Even more, the data source view may contain items originating from multiple data sources.

More details available here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Getting Started with SSAS 2005

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to take on a BI Developer position. In this position I have done quite a bit of development with SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS 2005).

Before taking on this position I had 8 years programming experience with a variety of languages, mostly OO. In all those cases, the systems used SQL Server as the backend. Thus, I gained 8 years solid SQL Server T-SQL development experience, plus some database administration experience. I've worked with SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, 2000, and 2005 from the RDBMS side.

This year, while networking with other BI folks, I discovered one of the biggest difficulties in taking on a BI Developer position can be lack of other resources available at your company for assistance. While companies with internal software developers usually have several of them, the amount of BI developers at a company can easily be 1 or 2. Thus, a need for networking and awareness of on-line resources became apparent.

The initial purpose of this blog is going to be assisting people, generally programmers or database architects in attaining knowledge needed to develop SSAS 2005 cubes. If you are already an intermediate or advanced SSAS 2005 developer, there are many intermediate/advanced blogs on my BI blogroll that have a greater chance of meeting your needs. If you are looking to break into the SSAS 2005 space, I hope to assist you in your learning experiences here.

As I blog, I plan to post resources that took me several months to find. Hopefully, they can save you quite a bit of ramp up time. As this blog is just now starting, please let me know ideas on how you would like to see it develop.