Web Access and Reporting
Web applications that provide end-user access to data warehouse data are popular because the client can use a standard Web browser instead of an application that must be installed, configured, and maintained. Initially limited to simple viewing of data presented on static Web pages, current technology now enables the creation of sophisticated interactive applications that allow users to query and update data in data warehouses and cubes.
Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 and its components, such as Analysis Services and English Query, offer a number of ways to query and update data over the Web when used with Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). SQL Server 2000 introduces support for XML functionality for storing, retrieving, and updating information using XML, XML-Data Reduced (XDR) schemas, and XPath queries over HTTP connections. The PivotTable® Service component of Analysis Services can be used with IIS to provide Web access to cubes using Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) syntax for querying. English Query applications can be embedded into Active Server Pages (ASP) or COM-based applications to support Web queries in English.
Web data access applications are developed using APIs provided by SQL Server 2000 and its components. Web applications can be as simple as displaying a predefined report or executing predefined queries against the data warehouse database or OLAP cubes, or they can be as complex as any directly connected client-server application. The impact of a Web application on data warehouse design or maintenance is determined by the application.