Introduction to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services: Build a Web Site Traffic Analysis Cube: Part II

About the Series …

This is the fourteenth
article of the series, Introduction to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis
Services
. As I stated in the first article, Creating Our
First Cube
, the primary focus of this series is an introduction to
the practical creation and manipulation of multidimensional OLAP cubes. The
series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MS
SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services ("Analysis Services"), with
each installment progressively adding features and techniques designed to meet
specific real – world needs. For more information on the series, as well as
the hardware / software requirements to prepare for the exercises we
will undertake, please see my initial article, Creating Our
First Cube
.

Preparation

Prior
to beginning the lesson, you will need to download a copy of the sample Server
Access Log, ServAccessLog.txt,
a zipped text file that we used as a data source in Part I of this lesson. Once the log is
downloaded, follow the instructions in Part I
to prepare the file, then complete Part I
to prepare the data source that we will use to build our cube in this lesson.

Introduction

In our
last article, Build a Web Site Traffic Analysis
Cube: Part I
, we returned to the hands-on
design and building of cubes for various business purposes, having focused on
some of the reporting options for Analysis Services for the last few lessons. In
Part I, after a brief discussion of
potential business reasons for collecting web site traffic data, we walked
through the design and building of a simple DTS package to extract, transform
and load statistical data for ultimate placement into a prospective traffic
analysis cube. Next, we set up a simple database to serve as the destination
point for the extract process, and as a basis for the design and creation of a web
traffic analysis cube.

In this
article, we will enter the design and build phases of our lesson, from which we
will emerge with a cube. After we have generated the cube, we will perform
browses of the data it contains to examine the results of our handiwork.

The topics within Part
II of this two-part article will include:

  • Creation of a database in
    Analysis Services;

  • Connection of the new database
    to the relational source table;

  • Creation of a measure for our Web
    Site Traffic Analysis cube;

  • Creation of dimensions and
    levels for our cube, including the manual creation of a simple Time dimension;

  • Incorporating drillthrough into
    our cube design.

  • Performance of browse
    activities against the new Web Site Traffic Analysis cube using the integrated
    Cube Browser;

  • Performance of drillthrough on
    a summary value within the Browser to its supporting detail in the relational
    data source;

  • Verification of the results of our drillthrough exercise, using an independent
    query against the source data in MSSQL Server.
William Pearson
William Pearson
Bill has been working with computers since before becoming a "big eight" CPA, after which he carried his growing information systems knowledge into management accounting, internal auditing, and various capacities of controllership. Bill entered the world of databases and financial systems when he became a consultant for CODA-Financials, a U.K. - based software company that hired only CPA's as application consultants to implement and maintain its integrated financial database - one of the most conceptually powerful, even in his current assessment, to have emerged. At CODA Bill deployed financial databases and business intelligence systems for many global clients. Working with SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase and Informix, and focusing on MSSQL Server, Bill created Island Technologies Inc. in 1997, and has developed a large and diverse customer base over the years since. Bill's background as a CPA, Internal Auditor and Management Accountant enable him to provide value to clients as a liaison between Accounting / Finance and Information Services. Moreover, as a Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) - a Certified Public Accountant recognized for his or her unique ability to provide business insight by leveraging knowledge of information relationships and supporting technologies - Bill offers his clients the CPA's perspective and ability to understand the complicated business implications and risks associated with technology. From this perspective, he helps them to effectively manage information while ensuring the data's reliability, security, accessibility and relevance. Bill has implemented enterprise business intelligence systems over the years for many Fortune 500 companies, focusing his practice (since the advent of MSSQL Server 2000) upon the integrated Microsoft business intelligence solution. He leverages his years of experience with other enterprise OLAP and reporting applications (Cognos, Business Objects, Crystal, and others) in regular conversions of these once-dominant applications to the Microsoft BI stack. Bill believes it is easier to teach technical skills to people with non-technical training than vice-versa, and he constantly seeks ways to graft new technology into the Accounting and Finance arenas. Bill was awarded Microsoft SQL Server MVP in 2009. Hobbies include advanced literature studies and occasional lectures, with recent concentration upon the works of William Faulkner, Henry James, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens. Other long-time interests have included the exploration of generative music sourced from database architecture.

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