Chapter 13. What's New in SQL Server Analysis Services 2005
IN THIS CHAPTER
Microsoft SQL Server entered the business intelligence market when it introduced a new component with SQL Server 7 called OLAP Services. OLAP Services, in conjunction with Data Transformation Services (DTS), allowed information workers to combine data from disparate sources into a single, multidimensional repository, called the data warehouse or data mart. OLAP Services allowed storing, processing, and preparing of the multidimensional data warehouse, which is a pre-aggregated, summarized, de-normalized data store optimized for reporting, analysis, and decision making.
SQL Server 2000 extended the business intelligence support by introducing several enhancements to its analytical or OLAP engine and support for a new technology called data mining, which is used to determine patterns between two or more pieces of information. OLAP Services from SQL Server 7 was renamed Analysis Services in SQL Server 2000. The new OLAP features introduced in Analysis Services 2000 combined with DTS, the robust Extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tool, and the introduction of the Reporting Services add-on for SQL Server 2000, made SQL Server a clear leader in the business intelligence market.
Analysis Services 2005 builds on the solid foundation of business intelligence support in SQL Server 2000 and introduces new features, tools, and functionality to build and deploy end-to-end business intelligence solutions. In addition to introducing new features, Analysis Services 2005 addresses several limitations that were present in the previous releases.
The business intelligence support in SQL Server 2005 is based on the theme "integrate, analyze, and report." Chapter 12, "SQL Server Integration Services Overview," shows how to integrate data from various sources by using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS); this chapter describes the new features introduced in Analysis Services to prepare your data for analysis, and also contains an overview of SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services.
Before looking at some of the most important new features in Analysis Services 2005, let's take a quick overview of OLAP, data warehousing, business intelligence, and data mining.