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Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

December 21st, 2009

I now have 40 articles on this blog, around 183 subscribers and approximately 1500-1600 visits a month. It’s been a very pleasant and rewarding casual occupation to write about the world of Microsoft Business Intelligence.

As my professional commitment for the new year I can promise that I will continue writing about new and interesting things I find while playing with SQL Server and the other great products which Microsoft puts on the market.

Also, recently I have started visiting the MSDN SQL Server forums and I will continue doing so in the next year. I would encourage everyone who reads this blog to start sharing their knowledge and helping new developers there – the technologies Microsoft offers are only as good as the people who implement them – us. Working together builds us as professionals and in the end makes our lives easier.

Many thanks to Nick Barclay for encouraging me to start this blog at the first place. Also, a big THANK YOU to Paul Hales, who even though hard to convince to start writing himself, has taught me quite a few things over the last couple of years and has always been the fiercest Microsoft advocate imaginable.

To Paul and Nick, to everyone who I have had the pleasure to work closely with (Tamzyn Bielecka, Mark Dasco, Maxim Yefremov, Sue Hourigan, Chris Mentor, Edmund Harvey and many others) and to all bloggers and readers – have a really MERRY Christmas and a very HAPPY New Year!!!

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7 Ways to Process Analysis Services Objects

December 10th, 2009

Being asked a bit too often how we can process Analysis Services databases (or cubes and dimensions) here is a list of 7 different methods:

1. Through the GUI

This one is obvious. We can do it through both SSMS and BIDS.

2. XMLA Script

To generate the script we can use the hefty Script button in SSMS. Simply configuring the processing settings and then instead of clicking the all too usual OK, we can as well click on the little button in the top left corner of the Process window:

xmla_script

Then, we can just execute the generated query.

3. SSIS Analysis Services Processing Task

This Control Flow task allows us to configure any settings and then add it to our ETL process. Quite handy.

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4. SQL Server Agent Job

This one is really an automation of Method #2 – XMLA Script. We can encapsulate it into a job of SQL Server Analysis Services Command type:

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5. .NET Code

This allows us to process cubes as a part of an application. Nice if we want to let our users process our cubes on-demand. Of course, better left to application developers, but still a good trick to know. Especially if we want to seem all-knowing when it comes to databases of any type. To achieve this objective, we use AMO (Analysis Management Objects). An API can be found here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.analysisservices(SQL.90).aspx

6. Command Line – ascmd

The command line utility can do a lot – including processing SSAS objects. For a full readme you can go here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms365187.aspx

7. Command Line – PowerShell

This PowerShell script will perform a Full Process of Adventure Works DW 2008 on localhost:

[Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName(“Microsoft.AnalysisServices”)
$servername=New-Object Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Server
$servername.connect(“localhost”)
$databasename=New-Object Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Database
$databasename=$servername.Databases.GetByName(“Adventure Works DW 2008″)
$databasename.Process(“ProcessFull”)

Using AMO we can do any maintenance tasks through PowerShell, including an object process.

Probably not a fully exhaustive list, but I hope it helps with giving developers some options when it comes to this trivial and crucial part of the development and deployment process.

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SQL Server DBMS Top 1 Wish List

December 8th, 2009

As an addition to Teo Lachev’s Top 10 Wishlists (SSAS and SSRS), I would like to contribute only 1 item to a possible SQL Server DBMS wishlist:

1. Source Control.

Not SourceSafe source control, but rather an automated version out-of-the-box, not relying on developers to check in/out. Rather, it should track the changes to the code as they are made, and a full version history should be available directly in the DBMS. It should not be too hard. After all, there is a nice database available, which can store code with its version numbers just like anything else.

This would make a lot of developers’ lives a bit less frustrating.

OK, a SQL code “beautifier” would also be nice, but it is not all that important…

Vote on Connect

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