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Defining an Analysis Services Project

Updated: 14 April 2006

You define a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) project in Business Intelligence Development Studio either by using the Analysis Services Project template or by using the Import Analysis Services 9.0 Database Wizard to read the contents of an Analysis Services database and create an Analysis Services project based on it. If no solution is currently loaded in Business Intelligence Development Studio, creating a new Analysis Services project automatically creates a new solution. Otherwise, the new Analysis Services project can be added to the existing solution or created in a new solution.

You use the following basic steps to create an Analysis Services project in Business Intelligence Development Studio:

  1. Define an Analysis Services project either by selecting the Analysis Services Project template or the Import Analysis Services 9.0 Database Wizard in the Business Intelligence template group of the Add New Project dialog box and specifying a name and location for the new project.
ms175630.note(en-US,SQL.90).gifNote:
To create an Analysis Services Project to modify a SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services database, you must first use the Analysis Services Migration Wizard from within SQL Server Management Studio to migrate the database to SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services and then use the Import Analysis Services 9.0 Database Wizard to create an Analysis Services project based on the migrated database. For more information, see Migrating Existing Analysis Services Databases.

  1. If you defined your Analysis Services project based on the Analysis Services Project template, a template project will open in Business Intelligence Development Studio in which you can define data sources, data source views, cubes, dimensions, roles and other Analysis Services objects. You can design these objects based on an existing data sources or you can generate an underlying relational database structure based on your cube and dimension design. You can also design your cube and dimension objects based on cube and dimension templates. For more information, see Working with Data Sources (Analysis Services), Working with Data Source Views (Analysis Services), Working with Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Working with Data Mining, Introducing the Schema Generation Wizard, and Lesson 1: Defining a Data Source View within an Analysis Services Project.
  2. If you defined your Analysis Services project based on an existing Analysis Services database, the metadata for that database will open in an Analysis Services project in Business Intelligence Development Studio in which you can make changes to the metadata for the existing database. However, until the changes are deployed, no changes made will affect the existing Analysis Services database.
  3. Create any other projects required for the business intelligence solution.
  4. Add any miscellaneous files, such as text files that contain notes on the project, in the Miscellaneous folder of the Analysis Services project in Solution Explorer.
  5. Define the Deployment properties of the project to specify the server to which the project metadata will be deployed as instantiated objects and to specify other deployment properties. For more information, see How to: Configure Analysis Services Project Properties, and Deploying an Analysis Services Project.
    ms175630.note(en-US,SQL.90).gifNote:
    By default, Business Intelligence Development Studio deploys a project to the default instance of Analysis Services on the local computer. You can change this deployment destination by using the Property Pages dialog box for the Analysis Services project to change the Server configuration property.

  6. Build and deploy the solution to an instance of Analysis Services for testing. Building a solution validates the object definitions and dependencies included in the project and generates a deployment script. Deploying a solution uses the Analysis Services deployment engine to send the deployment script to a specified instance. For more information, see How to: Build and Deploy an Analysis Services Project, and Deploying an Analysis Services Project.
    ms175630.note(en-US,SQL.90).gifNote:
    By default, Business Intelligence Development Studio processes only objects changed by the deployment script and dependent objects when deploying a solution. You can change this functionality by using the Property Pages dialog box for the Analysis Services project to change the Processing Option configuration property. For more information, see How to: Configure Analysis Services Project Properties, and Deploying an Analysis Services Project.

  7. Review and test the deployed project.
  8. Modify object definitions, build, and deploy again.

When the project is complete, you can use the Analysis Services Deployment Wizard to deploy the deployment script, generated when you build the solution, to destination instances for final testing, staging, and deployment. For more information, see Deploying Analysis Services Development and Production Systems.

An Analysis Services project contains the following folders, which are used to organize items included in the project.

Folder Description

Data Sources

Contains data sources for an Analysis Services project. You create these objects with the Data Source Wizard and edit them in Data Source Designer.

Data Source Views

Contains data source views for an Analysis Services project. You create these objects with the Data Source View Wizard and edit them in Data Source View Designer.

Cubes

Contains cubes for an Analysis Services project. You create these objects with the Cube Wizard and edit them in Cube Designer.

Dimensions

Contains dimensions for an Analysis Services project. You create these objects with the Dimension Wizard or the Cube Wizard and edit them in Dimension Designer.

Mining Structures

Contains mining structures for an Analysis Services project. You create these objects with the Mining Model Wizard and edit them in Mining Model Designer.

Roles

Contains database roles for an Analysis Services project. You create and manage roles in Role Designer.

Assemblies

Contains references to COM libraries and Microsoft .NET Framework assemblies for an Analysis Services project. You create references with the Add Reference dialog box.

Miscellaneous

Contains any type of file except for Analysis Services file types.

A Business Intelligence Development Studio solution can contain several file types, depending on what projects you included in the solution and what items you included in each project for that solution. Typically, the files for each project in a Business Intelligence Development Studio solution are stored in the solution folder, in a separate folder for each project.

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Copying a file for an object to a project folder does not add the object to the project. You must use the Add command from the project's context menu in Business Intelligence Development Studio to add an existing object definition to a project.

The project folder for an Analysis Services project can contain the file types listed in the following table.

File type Description

Analysis Services project definition file (.dwproj)

Contains metadata about the items, configurations, and assembly references defined and included in the Analysis Services project.

Analysis Services project user settings (.dwproj.user)

Contains configuration information for the Analysis Services project, for a specific user.

Data source file (.ds)

Contains Analysis Services Scripting Language (ASSL) elements that define metadata for a data source.

Data source view file (.dsv)

Contains ASSL elements that define metadata for a data source view.

Cube file (.cube)

Contains ASSL elements that define metadata for a cube, including measure groups, measures, and cube dimensions.

Partition file (.partitions)

Contains ASSL elements that define metadata for the partitions of a specified cube.

Dimension file (.dim)

Contains ASSL elements that define metadata for a database dimension.

Mining structure file (.dmm)

Contains ASSL elements that define metadata for a mining structure and associated mining models.

Database file (.database)

Contains ASSL elements that define metadata for a database, including account types, translations, and database permissions.

Database role file (.role)

Contains ASSL elements that define metadata for a database role, including role members.

If you use the Add New Item dialog box to add new items to an Analysis Services project, you have the option of using an item template, a predefined script or statement which demonstrates how to perform a specified action.

The item templates, listed in the following table, are available in the Analysis Services Project Items category in the Categories pane of the Add New Item dialog box.

Category Item template Description

Analysis Services Project Items

Cube

Starts the Cube Wizard to add a new cube to the Analysis Services project.

 

Data Source

Starts the Data Source Wizard to add a new data source to the Analysis Services project.

 

Data Source View

Starts the Data Source View Wizard to add a new data source view to the Analysis Services project.

 

Database Role

Adds a new database role to the Analysis Services project, and then displays Role Designer for the new database role.

 

Dimension

Starts the Dimension Wizard to add a new database dimension to the Analysis Services project.

 

Mining Structure

Starts the Data Mining Wizard to add a new mining structure and associated mining model to the Analysis Services project.

Release History

14 April 2006

Changed content:
  • Updated conceptual material to improve clarity.
  • Added content related to connect mode and project types
  • Moved build and deployment related file information to Building Analysis Services Projects.
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