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Posted Aug 7, 2006

Mastering Enterprise BI: Introduction to Perspectives - Page 8

By William Pearson


Deploy the Analysis Services Solution

Deploying the solution will dispatch the code we have created using the Cube Wizard and Designer interfaces. After the XML reaches the targeted Analysis Server (the destination server must be targeted, before beginning deployment, within the project's Deployment Configuration Properties page), the Analysis Services database is created and processed. Once this has been accomplished, we can fully leverage the Browser that the Cube Designer makes available to us.

1.  Right-click the ANSYS050 Perspectives solution, atop the tree in Solution Explorer.

2.  Select Deploy Solution from the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 49.

Illustration 49: Deploying the Solution ...

Processing begins, as we can see in the Deployment Progress pane. Once deployment has completed successfully, we see a message to this effect in the Status area, toward the bottom of the pane, as depicted in Illustration 50.

Illustration 50: Indication of Successful Deployment Appears ...

We are left with a processed Analysis Services database and cube. We are ready for the final part of our article, where we will verify the effectiveness of our handiwork via the Cube Browser.

Browse the Cube

We can get to the Cube Browser, at this stage, and see our Perspectives at work within the cube, by taking the following steps.

1.  Click the Browser tab within the Cube Designer, as shown in Illustration 51.

Illustration 51: Click the Browser Tab ...

2.  Once the Browser loads, click the Reconnect button, as depicted in Illustration 52.

Illustration 52: Click the Reconnect Button ...

As we proceed, keep in mind that the power of Perspectives lies in "what they make available" to the consumer. We'll do a quick examination that will reinforce this concept. The Browser is an extremely convenient place to accomplish this. However, more in-depth details about use of the Browser, a formidable tool within itself, are developed within other articles of this series, whose objectives (typically within "verification" procedures) are to examine or analyze values and other details within the cube.

3.  Select the ANSYS050 – Planning Perspective within the Perspective list box, as shown in Illustration 53.

Illustration 53: Selecting a Perspective in the Browser

We notice that the cube tree (inside the Metadata pane, on the left side of the Browser tab) immediately shifts to display the objects included within the new Perspective. We also note that the Perspective itself appears atop the tree, in the position typically occupied by the cube. This perhaps illustrates well the nature of the Perspective within a browsing – and even a querying – context.

NOTE: We examine the employment of Perspectives within MDX queries in Other MDX Entities: Perspectives, a member of my MDX Essentials series at Database Journal.

It is useful to realize that, although we can dictate dimension membership within our Perspective design, we also can leverage the dimensional structure that we have already built into our Measure Group relationships. As we can see in the present case, only the dimensions associated with the Measure Groups we selected for inclusion within the Perspective appear within the Metadata pane. In addition to the obviously "thinned down" dimensions that we see within the cube tree, let's take a look at the Measure Groups that are made available within the ANSYS050 – Planning Perspective.

4.  Within the cube tree appearing inside the Metadata pane, expand Measures.

5.  Expand the Fact Sales Quota folder as depicted in Illustration 54.

Illustration 54: Examining Selected Measure Group in the Measure Folder

We see that the only Measure Group (with member measures) that appears within the Measures folder of the Perspective is Fact Sales Quota, exactly as we might have expected from our Perspective design in the previous section.

6.  Select the ANSYS050 – Operations Perspective within the Perspective list box.

7.  Within the cube tree appearing inside the Metadata pane, expand the Measures folder, as before.

8.  Expand the Fact Internet Sales folder, as shown in Illustration 55.

Illustration 55: Examining the Measure Group within Another Perspective

We see that the only Measure Group that appears within the Measures folder of the Perspective is Fact Internet Sales, again as we might have expected from our Perspective design in the previous section. We also note, within the Fact Internet Sales folder, the absence of the single measure, Unit Price Discount Percent, which we eliminated from inclusion within the ANSYS050 – Operations Perspective in our earlier design steps. Moreover, the dimensions that appear within the Perspective reflect the selection we made earlier.

9.  Further inspect the structure of the Perspectives, performing browses as desired.

10.  Select File -> Save All from the main menu, to save our work through this point, as depicted in Illustration 56.

Illustration 56: Saving All Work from Our Session

11.  Select File -> Exit, when ready, to leave the Business Intelligence Development Studio.


In this article, we explored Perspectives, another exciting new feature that debuts in Analysis Services 2005. After introducing the concept of Perspectives, we overviewed their creation, and discussed ways in which they can offer flexibility in supporting our cube and solution / application end users. In preparation for our examination of the steps involved in extending our cubes to leverage Perspectives, we prepared Analysis Services, and our environment, by creating an Analysis Services Project to house our development steps, and to serve as a platform for the design of a quick cube model, within which to perform subsequent procedures in our session. We next performed the steps that are common to the design and creation of any cube within Analysis Services 2005, including the creation of a Data Source, containing the information Analysis Services needs to connect to a database, and a Data Source View containing schema information.

We then created a basic cube, referencing our Data Source and Data Source View, which contained data from our sample relational tables. Next, we got some hands-on exposure to creating Perspectives, via the Perspectives tab of the Cube Designer. Finally, after deploying our Analysis Services solution, we browsed the cube, focusing on the new Perspectives and the cube objects that each made available.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

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