Introducing Named Calculations (Continued...)
Overview and Discussion
will return to the Business Intelligence Development Studio, which, as
we stated in Part I, provides the environment and the tools that
we need to design and develop business intelligence solutions based upon Analysis
created an Analysis Services Project within the Business Intelligence Development
Studio, to provide the environment and the
tools that we need to design and develop our current cube and its supporting
objects, we have created a Data Source and Data Source View
(containing our Named Calculations examples). We are ready to leverage the Cube Wizard next,
to quickly design and create a cube, allowing us to focus on the subject matter
of the article with minimal peripheral distraction. As we have noted elsewhere,
the Cube Wizard not only helps us simplify the design and creation of
our cubes, as it did within Analysis Services 2000: the Analysis
Services 2005 Cube Wizard is more powerful, leveraging IntelliCube
technology to examine and classify many of the attributes of our data. Analysis
Services can determine, for example, prospective fact tables, dimensions,
hierarchies, levels and other structural members of our cubes from a given
database schema to which it is pointed. We further pointed out that, regardless
of whether we make a habit of using the wizard in our cube development efforts,
it certainly provides a way to rapidly generate a cube, if only to eliminate
part of the repetitive work involved to create a "starting point"
model, which we can then "prune and groom" to more precisely meet the
business requirements of our employers and customers.
Considerations and Comments
As we stated prior to
beginning Part I, for purposes of the practice
exercises within this series, we will be working with samples that are provided
with MSSQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. The samples with which we are
concerned include, predominantly, the Adventure Works DW Analysis Services
database (with member objects). The Adventure Works DW database and companion
samples are not installed by default in MSSQL Server 2005. The samples can
be installed during Setup, or at any time after MSSQL Server has
been installed. For more information on installing the samples, please see the Considerations and Comments
section in Part I.
NOTE: It is necessary to have completed Part I to participate in this practice
Hands-On Procedure (continued ...)
We will pick up where
we left off in Part I, having created three Named
Calculations. Recall that the first Named Calculation we created, ANSYS045_Gender
Description, was a simple example that was based upon a simple CASE statement.
The second and third Named Calculations, ANSYS045_Aging_Bucket_Key
and ANSYS045_Aging_Bucket_Name, were also based upon a CASE
statement (albeit a slightly more complicated one). The first Named
Calculation simply provided the word, "Male" or "Female,"
based upon the "M" or "F" provided in the source database,
which might be used to support a more user-friendly Gender description
within the intended cube. (We will not work further with this simple example
in our current session). The purpose of the second pair of Named
Calculations was to support the population of data, via its transaction
dates, into "aging buckets", with one being designed to supply a numeric
key to Analysis Services within the cube, and the other to supply a character-based
description of the "aging bucket" (ANSYS045_Aging_Bucket_Key
and ANSYS045_Aging_Bucket_Name, respectively).
Restart the SQL Server Business Intelligence
briefly see a splash page that lists the components installed on the PC, and
then Visual Studio .NET 2005 opens at the Start page.
Close the Start
page, if desired.
--> Open from the main menu.
/ Solution ... from the cascading menu, as shown in Illustration 1.
Selecting a Project ...
Project dialog appears.
Browse to the
location where we left the ANSYS045 Named Calculations solution at the conclusion of Part I.
NOTE: It is necessary to have completed
I to participate
in this practice session.
Select the ANSYS045 Named Calculations.sln
file within the appropriate folder, as depicted in Illustration 2.
Illustration 2: Selecting
the Part I Solution File ...
The ANSYS045 Named Calculations solution opens within the Designer,
and we again see the Data Source View that we created in the last
session. (If we closed the Data Source View last session, right click
it in the Solution Explorer, and select Open from the context
menu that appears, to open it.)
environment appears as depicted in Illustration 3.
Illustration 3: We
Return to the Design Environment
now ready to build a basic cube, to provide a vehicle for seeing our Named
Calculations in action.