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Posted Sep 11, 2006

Mastering Enterprise BI: Introduction to Translations - Page 2

By William Pearson

Working with Translations

Overview and Discussion

We will create an Analysis Services Project within the Business Intelligence Development Studio, to provide the environment and the tools that we need to design and develop business intelligence solutions based upon Analysis Services 2005. As we have noted in other articles of this series, the Analysis Services Project that we create within the Studio will assist us in organizing and managing the numerous objects that we will need to support our efforts to create our Analysis Services database.

We will leverage the Cube Wizard in this article to quickly design and create a cube, allowing us to focus on the subject matter of the article with minimal peripheral distraction. The Cube Wizard helps us simplify the design and creation of our cubes, as it did within Analysis Services 2000, although the Analysis Services 2005 Cube Wizard is more powerful, leveraging IntelliCube technology to examine and classify many of the attributes of our data. 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

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.

The topics "Running Setup to Install AdventureWorks Sample Databases and Samples" in SQL Server Setup Help or "Installing AdventureWorks Sample Databases and Samples" in the Books Online (both of which are included on the installation CD(s), and are available from www.Microsoft.com and other sources), provide guidance on samples installation. Important information regarding the rights / privileges required to accomplish samples installation, as well as to access the samples once installed, is included in these references.

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), as we noted earlier.

In an effort to remain focused on the essentials of working with Translations, 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 discuss how this transpires at the appropriate point within 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.

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:

ANSYS051 Translations

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 ANSYS051_Translations, 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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