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MS SQL

Posted Nov 18, 2009

Cube Storage: Planning Partitions (Business Intelligence Development Studio Perspective) - Page 3

By William Pearson

Create a New Analysis Services Project within Business Intelligence Development Studio

As most regular readers of my MSSQL Server Analysis Services column already know, the articles of this series depend heavily upon working within the Unified Dimensional Model (“UDM”), during hands-on practice sessions, as a means of employing the components of the integrated Microsoft business intelligence solution in a meaningful fashion – and in a manner such that what we learn can be extrapolated to the needs of our respective business environments. To provide an easy means of creating a relatively rich practice environment, we will “import” the design of our cloned Analysis Services database, ANSYS086_AS, into a project that we will create for that purpose within the Business Intelligence Development Studio. We will accomplish this by taking the following steps:

1.  Click Start on the PC, once again.

2.  Navigate to, and click, the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, as appropriate.

The equivalent on my PC appears as depicted in Illustration 10.

Launching SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio
Illustration 10: Launching SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio

We briefly see a splash page that lists the components installed on the PC, and then Microsoft Visual Studio opens at the Start page.

3.  Close the Start page, if desired.

4.  Select File -> Open from the main menu.

5.  Click Analysis Services Database ... from the cascading menu, as shown in Illustration 11.

Opening an Analysis Services Database
Illustration 11: Opening an Analysis Services Database ...

The Connect to Database dialog appears.

6.  In the Server box atop the dialog, enter your Analysis Server name / instance.

7.  In the Database box just underneath the Server box, type or select the ANSYS086_AS database.

8.  In the bottom input box on the dialog, specify a location for the new solution we are creating (use the Browse button, if desired).

The Connect to Database dialog appears, with our input, similar to that depicted in Illustration 12.

The Connect to Database Dialog, with Our Input
Illustration 12: The Connect to Database Dialog, with Our Input

9.  Click OK to connect to the specified Analysis Server.

A “Reading database from the server ...” message briefly appears, as shown in Illustration 13.

The Database is Being Read from the Server
Illustration 13: The Database is Being Read from the Server ...

Next, we see the ANSYS086_AS database, together with all its member folders and objects, appear within the Solution Explorer (which is positioned, by default, in the upper right corner of the design environment).

10.  Click the Show All Files button, on the two-button toolbar atop the Solution Explorer, if necessary, to display all files / objects within the Solution Explorer, as partially depicted (Show All Files button circled) in Illustration 14.

The Cloned Analysis Services Database and Objects, within the Solution Explorer
Illustration 14: The Cloned Analysis Services Database and Objects, within the Solution Explorer (Partial View – “Show All Files” Button Circled)

With a complete Analysis Services project in place, we have established development access to our sample database, containing a cube. This affords us an environment from which to perform the exercises of the following practice session, without having to build all the objects we might need from scratch.

We are now ready to access the new Analysis Services database we have created within the Business Intelligence Development Studio. Here, we are positioned to take a look at some of the options available for resource assignment and partition settings, which we will examine as a part of our discussion surrounding partition planning. Let’s open the Adventure Works cube, within the clone Analysis Services database we have created, and begin setting ourselves up for our review in the next section with the following steps:

11.  Right-click the Adventure Works cube in the Solution Explorer (within the Cubes folder of the tree).

12.  Select Open from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 15.

Open the Adventure Works Cube
Illustration 15: Open the Adventure Works Cube ...

The Cube Designer opens, defaulted to the Cube Structure tab. For purposes of this article, we will be working within the Partitions tab, where partitions can be conveniently constructed and maintained. Here we can perform settings and assignments related to storage, proactive caching, writeback, and more for each measure group within the cube, as we shall see.

13.  Click the Partitions tab atop the Cube Designer, as depicted in Illustration 16.

Switching to the Partitions Tab
Illustration 16: Switching to the Partitions Tab ...

The Partitions tab loads.

We are now positioned to begin our discussion of partition planning, and our examination of some of the resource assignments and settings upon which our partition planning efforts can be based.



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