Ease of Use
To make online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining technology easier to use, Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Analysis Services provides wizards, editors, tools, and information within Analysis Manager. This console application provides a user interface for accessing Analysis servers and their meta data repositories.
Tutorial and Overview Material
You can use the online tutorial to master Analysis Manager in a few hours. Designed for both beginners and experienced OLAP users, the tutorial walks you through the steps for creating a basic cube, as well as more advanced operations, such as creating partitions, virtual cubes, security roles, writable dimensions, actions, and data mining models. The tutorial is an excellent tool for learning about OLAP, data mining, and the operation and features of Analysis Manager.
You can also find information about OLAP and Analysis Services in the HTML pane (the right pane) of Analysis Manager.
Meta Data and Data View
In the right pane of Analysis Manager, you can view object properties and meta data and browse data for cubes and data mining models as you traverse the tree pane.
With this easy-to-use wizard, you can build all the structures necessary to create an OLAP cube. The wizard walks you through the entire cube design and implementation process, from mapping data sources and creating dimensions to defining measures.
Using simple drag-and-drop operations, you can edit existing cube structures and create new ones. Cube Editor complements the Cube Wizard. Using Cube Editor, you can revise cubes you created with the wizard or quickly create new ones.
Using the Dimension Wizard, you can quickly and easily create a shared dimension, which can be used by any cube, or a private dimension, which can be used in a single cube. You can map database dimension table columns to dimension levels or use the built-in time dimension generator to create a variety of time dimensions based on a date-time column in the database. You can use the Dimension Wizard to create dimensions based on star or snowflake data warehouse schemas. In addition, you can also create parent-child, virtual, and data mining dimensions.
Using simple drag-and-drop operations, you can edit existing shared dimension structures and create new ones. Dimension Editor complements the Dimension Wizard, enabling you to revise dimensions you created with the wizard or to quickly create new ones. You can also preview dimension data in the editor.
Incremental Update Wizard
You can use this wizard to guide you through the process of incorporating new data into your cube. An incremental update adds new data to a cube without the necessity of rebuilding aggregations and reloading all data.
This wizard helps you create a new partition to contain a portion of the data in your cube. Partitions enable you to distribute and optimize a cube's data into discrete segments on a single server or across multiple servers.
Note You can create multiple partitions in a cube only if you install Analysis Services for SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition.
Storage Design Wizard
You can use this wizard to specify the storage mode for cube data and to help you design aggregations appropriate to the intended use of your cube. The options available in this wizard enable you to optimize the tradeoff between response time and storage requirements according to the needs of your application and users.
Usage Analysis Wizard
By displaying logged query information such as date, user, query response time, and frequency in tabular and graphical format, the Usage Analysis Wizard helps you understand how a cube is being used.
Usage-Based Optimization Wizard
The Usage-Based Optimization Wizard helps you tune cube performance based on users' actual usage of the cube. You can direct the wizard to create aggregations to improve performance based on any combination of users, the number of times a query was executed, query response time, the mode of storage where the data resides, or a date range.
Calculated Cells Wizard
This wizard helps you create calculated cells, by allowing you to define a subsection of a cube, referred to as a subcube, whose value is determined by a Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) formula. The functionality of calculated cells is similar to that of custom members, except that calculated cells can affect specific cells, even a single cell, within a cube, allowing finer control for financial and statistical calculations.
You can use this wizard to create an action associated with a cube or a portion of a cube. An action allows users to trigger an operation on a selected cube or a part of a cube and automatically pass the selected item as a parameter to the operation. For example, a user can select an action on a dimension member that automatically opens his or her Internet browser so he or she can access a page about the member.
Virtual Cube Wizard
You can use this wizard to join cubes and to select dimensions and measures from them to create a virtual cube. A virtual cube enables a single query to be routed to multiple cubes, including cubes running on different servers. A virtual cube appears to users as a regular cube, but it does not require additional storage space; it is similar to a view that joins tables in a relational database.
Virtual Cube Editor
Using simple drag-and-drop operations, you can edit existing virtual cube structures. Virtual Cube Editor complements the Virtual Cube Wizard, enabling you to revise virtual cubes you created with the wizard.
Mining Model Wizard
You can use this wizard to create data mining models from both OLAP and relational data sources. You can also specify different data mining techniques to build your model. If you are creating a mining model based on OLAP data, you have the option to create a dimension and virtual cube to help you analyze the mining model results.
Mining Model Editors
In these two editors, one for OLAP data mining models and the other for relational data mining models, you can edit existing mining models using drag-and-drop techniques and browse the results of your mining models.
You can view data for cubes, dimensions, and data mining models without leaving Analysis Manager. You do not need to switch to another application to check your designs.
OLE DB Data Source Locator Integration
Analysis Services uses the Microsoft Data Source Locator component for selecting OLE DB or ODBC data sources.
Using Database Role Manager and Cube Role Manager, you can create and maintain roles to control users' access to cubes and their component parts.