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Posted Aug 7, 2006

Mastering Enterprise BI: Introduction to Perspectives - Page 2

By William Pearson

Hands-On Procedure

We will get started by creating a new project within the Business Intelligence Development Studio, wherein we will create a Data Source pointed to a database sample provided with MSSQL Server 2005. This way, anyone with access to the installed application set and its samples can complete the steps in the practice session.


Create a New Analysis Services Project

We begin our preparation within Business Intelligence Development Studio, where we will create a new Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) Project. As we have noted in other articles, those of us who have worked within earlier versions of Reporting Services, or within the Visual Studio development environment under other circumstances, will recognize the general look and feel of the Studio. Under this new style of development for Analysis Services, to which much of the documentation refers as "project mode," we create an Analysis Services Project, which houses a set of Analysis Services objects. The object set typically includes Data Sources, Data Source Views, Dimensions, Cubes, and other components.

As we have noted in other articles, using an Analysis Services Project template affords us many benefits, such as helping us to organize and manage the items that are required to build, debug, and deploy an Analysis Services database. The development of an Analysis Services cube, a preparatory step to support our primary objectives within this session, as well as one of the most common tasks in Analysis Services, can be accelerated though the use of the Analysis Services 2005 Cube Wizard, which both guides and simplifies the process (as is the way of wizards).

In an effort to remain focused on the essentials of working with Perspectives, we will not go into the myriad processes and structures that surround and underlie the UDM / cube in general. As we have noted previously, however, it is useful to make a mental note that all the objects that we create and store within an Analysis Services project are defined as files (using an XML representation) that eventually are deployed to an Analysis Services database. We will see how this transpires when we deploy the project within which we work in our practice session.

1.  Click the Start button.

2.  Select Microsoft SQL Server 2005 within the Program group of the menu.

3.  Click SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, as depicted in Illustration 1.

Illustration 1: Opening SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio

The Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development environment opens, beginning with the Start page, as shown in Illustration 2.

Illustration 2: The Start Page, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Development Environment (Compressed View)

4.  Close the Start Page tab.

5.  Select File -> New on the Visual Studio main menu.

6.  Select Project from the cascading menu, as depicted in Illustration 3.

Illustration 3: Beginning a New Project ...

The New Project dialog appears.

7.  Select Business Intelligence Projects in the Project types pane of the dialog.

8.  Select Analysis Services Project in the Templates pane, as shown in Illustration 4.

Illustration 4: Select Analysis Services Project

NOTE: The templates that appear in your template pane may differ, depending upon which SQL Server 2005 components are installed in your environment, as well as upon whether additional templates (for Business Intelligence Projects or other types of projects that can be created) have been defined in Visual Studio.

9.  Change the project Name (currently displaying a default) to the following:

ANSYS050 Perspectives

The Solution Name changes to match the project Name by default.

10.  Navigate to a convenient location to store the Project and Solution files, modifying the Location box accordingly (Visual Studio will create a directory based upon our input here).

The relevant section of the New Project dialog appears similar to that depicted in Illustration 5.

Illustration 5: The New Project Dialog (Relevant Section), with our Input

11.  Click OK to accept our input and to create the new Analysis Services Project.

The New Project dialog closes. Visual Studio creates the project, which appears underneath solution ANSYS050 Perspectives, within the Solution Explorer as shown in Illustration 6.

Illustration 6: The New Analysis Services Project Appears

Having created a new Analysis Services Project, we are ready to define a Data Source and Data Source View.

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