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. Related topics: Key Concepts in MDX (MDX), Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) Reference, Data Mining Extensions (DMX) Reference
Analysis Services also supports a local cube engine that enables applications on disconnected clients to browse locally stored multidimensional data. For more information, see Clients (Analysis Services - Multidimensional Data)