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Analysis Services

Analysis Services is an online analytical data engine used in decision support and business intelligence (BI) solutions, providing the analytical data for business reports and client applications such as Excel, Reporting Services reports, and other third-party BI tools. A typical workflow for Analysis Services includes building an OLAP or tabular data model, deploy the model as a database to an Analysis Services instance, process the database to load it with data, and then assign permissions to allow data access. When it's ready to go, this multi-purpose data model can be accessed by any client application supporting Analysis Services as a data source.

To create a model, use SQL Server Data Tools, choosing either a Tabular or Multidimensional and Data Mining project template. Models are populated with data from external data systems, usually data warehouses hosted on a SQL Server or Oracle relational database engine (Tabular models support additional data source types). Models specify query objects, such as cubes and dimensions, calculations and KPIs, and interactions such as navigation and drill-through behaviors.

To use a model, it's deployed to an Analysis Services instance that runs databases in a particular server mode, making the data available to authorized users who connect through Excel or other applications.

You can install an Analysis Services instance in one of three server modes:

  • As a Tabular instance, running Tabular models.

  • As a Multidimensional and Data Mining instance, running OLAP cubes and data mining models (this is the default).

  • As PowerPivot for SharePoint, running PowerPivot and Excel data models in SharePoint (PowerPivot for SharePoint is a middle-tier data engine that loads, queries, and refreshes data models hosted in SharePoint).

Same data engine; three different ways to use it. Note that server modes are set during installation and cannot be changed later. You should install a new instance if you require a different mode.

Foundational documentation for Analysis Services is organized into sections that correspond to the type of project you are building. Choose from the following links to learn more about each mode or feature area.

Browse Content by Area

Small File Folder Icon Comparing Tabular and Multidimensional Solutions (SSAS)

Small File Folder Icon Analysis Services Instance Management

Small File Folder Icon Tabular Modeling (SSAS Tabular)

Small File Folder Icon Multidimensional Modeling (SSAS)

Small File Folder Icon Data Mining (SSAS)

Small File Folder Icon PowerPivot for SharePoint (SSAS)

NoteNote

Analysis Services features vary by edition. Multidimensional and data mining models are available in standard edition, but with fewer features than higher editions. Tabular models and PowerPivot for SharePoint are premium features and are not available in a standard edition license. For more information, see Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2014.

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