Logical Architecture (Analysis Services - Multidimensional Data)
Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services uses both server and client components to supply online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining functionality for business intelligence applications:
The server component of Analysis Services is implemented as a Microsoft Windows service. SQL Server Analysis Services supports multiple instances on the same computer, with each instance of Analysis Services implemented as a separate instance of the Windows service.
Clients communicate with Analysis Services using the public standard XML for Analysis (XMLA), a SOAP-based protocol for issuing commands and receiving responses, exposed as a Web service. Client object models are also provided over XMLA, and can be accessed either by using a managed provider, such as ADOMD.NET, or a native OLE DB provider.
Query commands can be issued using the following languages: SQL; Multidimensional Expressions (MDX), an industry standard query language for analysis; or Data Mining Extensions (DMX), an industry standard query language oriented toward data mining. Analysis Services Scripting Language (ASSL) can also be used to manage Analysis Services database objects.
Analysis Services also supports a local cube engine that enables applications on disconnected clients to browse locally stored multidimensional data. For more information, see Client Architecture Requirements for Analysis Services Development