Introduction to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services: Partitioning a Cube in Analysis Services – An Introduction

About the Series …

This
article is a member of the series Introduction
to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services
. The series is designed to
provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MS SQL Server 2000
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.

Note: Service Pack 3 updates are assumed for MSSQL Server 2000, MSSQL
Server 2000 Analysis Services
, and the related Books Online
and Samples. Images are from a Windows 2003 Server
environment, upon which I have also implemented MS Office 2003, but the
steps performed in the articles, together with the views that result, will be
quite similar within any environment that supports MSSQL Server 2000 and MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services ("Analysis
Services"
or "MSAS"). The same is generally true,
except where differences are specifically noted, when MS Office 2000 and
above are used in the environment, in cases where MS Office components
are presented in the article.

Overview

We have touched upon partitions
over the life of the Introduction
to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services
series, as well as within other series at Database Journal. We
recently discussed partitioning more specifically within our article Basic
Storage Design
, within which we introduced the Storage Design Wizard.
The Storage Design Wizard, as we discovered, enables us to manage aggregations
on a partition-by-partition basis when working with a multi-partitioned cube.
We noted that, if a cube we are optimizing through the use of the Storage
Design Wizard
contains multiple partitions, we are forced to select a
partition from the outset, as we can only design storage for a single partition
at a time.

In
this article, we will introduce the MSAS Partition Wizard, whose role is
to enable us to create and modify partitions to optimize the query performance
of our cubes. We will first discuss partitioning as a concept, within the
context of MSAS cubes, and then we will perform a hands-on exercise where we
partition a copy of the Budget cube, one of the sample cubes that
accompany the installation of MSAS. Our objective in this article is an overview
of the wizard itself
; later articles will focus on detailed partitioning
strategy and techniques.

Within our exploration of
the Partition Wizard, we will accomplish the following:

  • Create copy of
    the Budget sample cube for use in our practice exercise;

  • Use the Partition
    Wizard
    , to create partitions for our practice cube;

  • Examine the
    options that are available to us, as we proceed through the guided steps of the
    Partition Wizard.
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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