Development Enhancements (SSAS)
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) introduces the following development enhancements and new features.
Microsoft .NET Framework Support
Analysis Services is now fully integrated with the Microsoft .NET Framework, which includes full XML and SOAP support, support for languages such as C# and Microsoft Visual Basic in stored procedures, and managed support for server administration and client access. Analysis Services integration with the .NET Framework provides additional flexibility for business needs by using open standards on a secure platform to support business intelligence applications.
Analysis Services provides more extensibility and programmability in stored procedures, external routines in programming languages such as C#, C++, or Visual Basic that you can use to extend Analysis Services functionality. Stored procedures provide the benefits of cross-language integration and exception handling, versioning, and deployment support. In Analysis Services, you can use stored procedures to add programming modules to a cube or a database, to extend the functionality provided by the Analysis Services engine. Stored procedures accept input parameters, and can access, create, and return any Analysis Services object. They can also return a status value to a calling procedure or a batch execution to indicate success or failure. Stored procedures replace user-defined functions in earlier versions of Analysis Services.
Multidimensional Expressions Enhancements
Analysis Services enhances the Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) language by adding support for scripting, scope and context control, and enhanced subcube manipulation. MDX provides additional intrinsic functions, seamless integration of user-defined functions, enhanced data definition language (DDL) statements, and new data manipulation language (DML) statements. For more information about the MDX language, see Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) Reference.
XML for Analysis
In Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, the XML for Analysis (XMLA) 1.0 specification was supported only through the use of the Microsoft XML for Analysis Provider, an OLE DB provider that translated XMLA requests when communicating with an Analysis server computer. In SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, the Analysis Services engine supports the XMLA 1.1 specification directly, without the need for an additional OLE DB provider. Because XMLA requests can be sent by a client application directly to the Analysis Services engine, you can develop client applications that have less overhead and greater performance. For more information about Analysis Services support for XMLA, see XML for Analysis (XMLA).
Analysis Services Scripting Language
Analysis Services now includes the Analysis Services Scripting Language (ASSL), an XML-based syntax used with XMLA to administer Analysis Services and SQL Server Management Studio, to administer an instance of Analysis Services, and to create, delete, or modify objects on an instance of Analysis Services without the need for an object model or an OLE DB provider. For more information about ASSL, see Analysis Services Scripting Language (ASSL).
Analysis Management Objects
Analysis Management Objects (AMO) provides a .NET Framework object model that client applications can use to administer an instance of Analysis Services. AMO replaces the Decision Support Objects (DSO) object model in earlier versions of Analysis Services, although DSO is still supported for compatibility purposes. AMO uses XMLA and ASSL when communicating with an instance of Analysis Services, and the generated scripts can be captured for storage or for source control purposes. For more information, see Analysis Management Objects (AMO).
Analysis Services introduces ADOMD.NET, a set of .NET Framework classes that can be used in stored procedures and by client applications to access and work with Analysis Services objects and data. While ADOMD.NET functionality was available for SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services as part of the ADOMD.NET SDK, ADOMD.NET is now fully integrated into Analysis Services. For more information, see ADOMD.NET.