About the Series …
is the twentieth 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, 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, 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
Along with MSSQL Server 2000 and MSAS, which we
use in all articles of the series, additional application considerations apply
for this tutorial, because it introduces a third-party reporting solution, ProClarity
Professional ("ProClarity"). For those joining the series
at this point because of a desire to work with MSAS and its components from a ProClarity perspective, it is assumed that MSAS is
accessible to / installed on the PC, with the appropriate access rights to the
sample cubes (which are provided in a typical installation of
We will use ProClarity (Platform 5 or higher), and
various components that come along with a typical installation of ProClarity,
to demonstrate the setup of, and some approaches for, using this business
intelligence tool for creating and deploying reports, based upon an MSAS cube
as a data source. ProClarity provides the capability for establishing
connections to our cubes, among other functions that we will explore.
Because we are targeting existing or evaluation users of ProClarity, we will
assume installation of the application involved, and focus upon the specific
setup required to enable reporting from MSAS cubes. If this is the first
time ProClarity is being accessed on your machine, or if ProClarity is not
already installed / configured, you will need to consult the ProClarity
documentation for installation instructions.
In Part I of this article, we returned to the objectives of an
earlier subseries, Reporting Options for Analysis Services Cubes.
As we stated in that set of articles, our focus was to respond to a
constant request from readers: to explore options beyond the Analysis Manager /
Sample Application interfaces for analyzing and reporting data in MSAS cubes.
I began an examination of another such option, ProClarity, based
upon a suggestion I received from a reader, and upon my own favorable
experiences with this outstanding tool in recent months.
After a brief
introduction to the application, together with an overview of establishing
connectivity with an MSAS cube, we examined some of the options offered by
ProClarity for analyzing our MSAS OLAP data. We began to perform practice
examples of browsing and analyzing our data from within the application,
examining the layout and navigation of the analysis interface that ProClarity
offers as we practiced its use.
In this article, we
will continue our exploration of ProClarity in the same hands-on manner, with a
focus on exposing more of the rich analysis and reporting capabilities of the
Reporting Options for MSAS Cubes: ProClarity
First, we will return
to the point at which we left our "tour" at the end of Part I,
and finish discussing some features from the rudimentary perspective of the Budget
cube. Next, we will move our examination to a cube with a bit more
complexity, and take advantage of the opportunities that this avails to
experience additional features of the application.
topics within this article will include:
An introduction to
several additional features that are available within ProClarity to provide for
analyzing, and creating enterprise reporting components from, data in MSAS
Various use and navigation tips for the
ProClarity interface in analyzing, and reporting from, MSAS cubes.
Practice examples of
uses for the ProClarity functionality that we expose.