� The Agony of DTS | Main | No Clues for the Clueless �

November 20, 2003

The Beauty of MSAS

Today's class got us into the arcane art of dimension building with MSAS. Imagine my surprise when I find that they have a dimension type of Bill of Materials. In all of the seven years I have been building databases with Essbase, that was the only aggregation problem that I couldn't solve. With Analysis Services, it's handled very sweetly as an attribute of parent-child builds. Not only that, you can eyeball aggregations just in the dev studio just to make sure.

I am also finding it rather nice to see that there aren't many features and terms which aren't easily translatable into both worlds. You really have to know something about the internals of each package to realize whether or not you are getting an equivalent feature. So I am seeing why much of the arguments for or against each gets deeply into the 'that depends' category.

What I have yet to see is how MDX plays into matters of customization, and of course I have yet to deal with any complex calculations. That comes tomorrow. So far, so good.

It is worth noting that one doesn't seem quite as much in control of what is stored vs calculated on the fly without the extensive use of partitions in MSAS. What effect partitions have on accuracy (I've heard there is some) and complexity have yet to be determined. But it is nice that one may, ahead of time, estimate the percentage of the database that is aggregated. What I've seen in laptop size databases is no indication and most everyone concedes that Essbase is a faster and more powerful aggregator but it is hard to argue with the possibilities of remote partitions accessed through OLE DB.

Posted by mbowen at November 20, 2003 03:56 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: