In Chapter 1 you learned general data warehousing concepts, including some key elements that go into successful warehouse projects, the different approaches taken to build warehouses, and how the warehouses are subsequently mined for information. This chapter introduces you to Analysis Services 2005 and includes an introduction to SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 Tools. These are the very tools, resident in two different environments, which you'll need to develop and manage Analysis Services databases. This chapter also covers some of the differences between Analysis Services 2000 and Analysis Services 2005.
You familiarize yourself with the development environment and interface by working through a tutorial based on a sample database that ships with SQL Server Analysis Services 2005, called Adventure Works DW. This tutorial covers many basic concepts and takes you through the Cube Wizard to build and then browse a cube. The tutorial will guide you through using the tools and provide you insights into what the product is doing behind the scenes.
In the management environment you learn the basic operations associated with manageability of Analysis Services 2005. Further, you learn about the constituent objects that make up an Analysis Services 2005 database and what management actions can be taken against them in the management environment. Finally, you are introduced to the MDX Query Editor for querying data from the cubes.
MDX, which stands for Multi-Dimensional eXpressions, is the language through which you retrieve data from multi-dimensional databases.
By the end of this chapter you will be familiar with key components that constitute the Analysis Services Tools, the process of building Analysis Services databases, and how to use MDX to retrieve data from Analysis Services databases. So, snap on your seatbelt and get started!