Developing and Deploying English Query Applications
Developing an English Query application involves creating, refining, testing, compiling and deploying a model, based on a normalized SQL database or an OLAP cube.
Here are the basic steps for developing and deploying an English Query application:
- Determine the questions that end users are most likely to ask.
Determining what questions must be answered prior to creating a model helps you to create the entities and relationships and to test your application.
For example, suppose you want to create a model for the Northwind database. It contains sales data from a fictitious company called Northwind Traders, which imports and exports specialty foods from around the world. As an owner of the company, you may want to know which suppliers are being used, how much of each product sold during the previous year, the total sales for the previous year, or how many orders a specific customer placed. As a manager, you may want to know how many sales your employees have made, who was the top salesperson in an area, or the total regional revenues for the past year.
- Create a basic model using the SQL Project Wizard or OLAP Project Wizard.
The Project wizards automatically create a basic model by bringing in the schema of the data source (database or cube) and automatically creating entities and relationships based on the tables, fields (columns), joins, or OLAP objects.
- Refine the model to address any questions that cannot be answered using the basic model.
After creating the basic model, you can further define it to answer user questions by adding entities and relationships. Drag the entities from the Entities list in the left pane onto the Canvas pane, and then create a relationship between them. You can also drag relationships onto the Canvas pane.
- Test the model and refine the model until it successfully returns the answers to the questions you pose.
If questions are not answered successfully with the model, click Suggestion Wizard on the Model Test window to view suggested relationships and to further refine the model. Continue to test the questions until you are satisfied with the entities and relationships.
Note A limited knowledge of the English language in English Query, incomplete authoring of an application, and the design of a database affects how many of the users' questions can be answered.
- Build the application and then deploy it.
An English Query application can be deployed in several ways, including within a Microsoft® Visual Basic® or Microsoft Visual C++® application and on a Web page running on the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). In the Web scenario, the interface of the application is with a set of Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP).