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Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services [Paperback]

Chris Webb
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 30.99
Price: 27.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 July 2009 1847197221 978-1847197221

Design and implement fast, scalable and maintainable cubes

  • A real-world guide to designing cubes with Analysis Services 2008
  • Model dimensions and measure groups in BI Development Studio
  • Implement security, drill-through, and MDX calculations
  • Learn how to deploy, monitor, and performance-tune your cube
  • Filled with best practices and useful hints and tips

In Detail

Microsoft's SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 is an OLAP server that allows users to analyze business data quickly and easily. However, designing cubes in Analysis Services can be a complex task: it's all too easy to make mistakes early on in development that lead to serious problems when the cube is in production. Learning the best practices for cube design before you start your project will help you avoid these problems and ensure that your project is a success.

This book offers practical advice on how to go about designing and building fast, scalable, and maintainable cubes that will meet your users' requirements and help make your Business Intelligence project a success.

This book gives readers insight into the best practices for designing and building Microsoft Analysis Services 2008 cubes. It also provides details about server architecture, performance tuning, security, and administration of an Analysis Services solution.

In this book, you will learn how to design and implement Analysis Services cubes. Starting from designing a data mart for Analysis Services, through the creation of dimensions and measure groups, to putting the cube into production, we'll explore the whole of the development lifecycle.

This book is an invaluable guide for anyone who is planning to use Microsoft Analysis Services 2008 in a Business Intelligence project.

What you will learn from this book?

  • Build a data mart suitable for use with Analysis Services
  • Create and configure an Analysis Services project in Business Intelligence Development Studio
  • Use the Dimension Wizard and the Dimension Editor to build dimensions
  • Create measure groups and associate them with dimensions
  • Add calculations to the cube, including implementing currency conversion and a date tool dimension
  • Explore the security model, including dimension security and cell security, and implement dynamic security
  • Tune queries to get the best possible performance
  • Automate processing and partition creation
  • Monitor your cube to see who's actually using it


This is a practical tutorial for Analysis Services that shows readers how to solve problems commonly encountered while designing cubes, and explains which features of Analysis Services work well and which should be avoided. The book walks through the whole cube development lifecycle, from building dimensions, cubes and calculations to tuning and moving the cube into production.

Who this book is written for?

This book is aimed at Analysis Services developers who already have some experience but who want to go into more detail on advanced topics, and who want to learn best practices for cube design.

Frequently Bought Together

Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services + Practical MDX Queries: For Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 + MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Cookbook
Price For All Three: 90.87

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (16 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847197221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847197221
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 18.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Marco Russo is a consultant and trainer in software development based in Italy, focusing on development for Microsoft Windows operating systems. He's involved in several Business Intelligence projects, including those of relational and multidimensional warehouse design, with particular experience in sectors like banking and financial services, manufacturing and commercial distribution. He previously wrote several books about .NET and recently co-authored "Introducing Microsoft LINQ" and "Programming Microsoft LINQ", both published by Microsoft Press. He also wrote "The many-to-many revolution", a mini-book about many-to-many dimension relationships in Analysis Services, and co-authored the "SQLBI Methodology" with Alberto Ferrari. Marco is a founder of SQLBI ( and his blog is available at

Alberto Ferrari is a consultant and trainer for the BI development area with the Microsoft suite for Business Intelligence. His main interests are in the methodological approaches to BI development and he works as a trainer for software houses that need to design complex BI solutions. He is a founder, with Marco Russo, of the site, where they publish whitepapers and articles about SQL Server technology. He co-authored the "SqlBI Methodology", which can be found on the SqlBI site.

Chris Webb has been working with Microsoft Business Intelligence tools for almost ten years in a variety of roles and industries. He is an independent consultant and trainer based in the UK, specializing in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services and the MDX query language. He is the co-author of "MDX Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 and Hyperion Essbase", is a regular speaker at conferences, and blogs on BI at He is a recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional award for his work in the SQL Server community.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No. 2 SSAS Book 12 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I - almost - completely agree with the comprehensive review by Rainardi. This is a top SSAS book, and the two other top three books are those by Teo Lachev (SSAS 2005) and by Irina, Edward & Alexander (SSAS 2008). To be a little more precise, however, this should only by your "No. 2 SSAS Book". You need one of the others first, depending on which SSAS version you are using. That'll give you a comprehensive overview, and then this book has the potential to make you a full-blown professional. It should not be your first book, though, since the level required is (in many parts) quite sophisticated, and since coverage is incomplete and "biased" by experience of what has the most practical importance.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best SSAS book 23 Nov 2009
By Vincent
This SSAS 2008 book is superb. For me it is, by far, the most useful book on SSAS (the second being Irina, Edward & Alexander's SSAS 2008, and the third is Teo Lachev's). I learned a lot from this book. The book is invaluable to me because in the last 2 years I have been doing a lot of cube development and in doing so I have discovered and developed some techniques or methods. And that was exactly what they wrote: their experience in developing cubes, plus their opinions and tips. Chris Webb in SSAS world is an authoritative figure and I consider his SSAS skills to be one of the highest in the world, along the lines of Mosha Pasumansky, Deepak Puri, Edward Melomed and Darren Gosbell. Marco Russo is famous in SSAS world because of his Many-to-Many Revolution, one of the very first things I learned when I started doing cube development. Alberto Ferrari is SSAS expert (I learned from him that materialized ref dim can produce incorrect results, something that I experienced myself) and he's a speaker at Euro PASS 2009. So reading this book is like getting the experiences of 3 SSAS experts. A book which content is derived from books online, i.e. the 'how to do stuff', is not too useful for me, as I can read it in the BOL myself. But a book that contains 3 experts' experience and thoughts, that's invaluable. And that is what this book is. Being a writer myself (I wrote data warehousing book on SQL Server 2 years ago), I can understand why not many experts want to spend their precious time to sit down and write their experiences in a book. Because writing a technical book is tiring and the money is not great. So when an expert does it, grab that book and learn. And this time it's not only one but three!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely superb 15 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not for absolute beginners but I am amazed page after page to read answers about questions I asked myself without always finding the answer.

This is both deep and practical.
I like the fact that it does not assume SSAS is the best answer to all problems.
For instance, it does mention that SSAS is not that great for chart of accounts compared to some other products, or that you would be better off not relying exclusively on SSAS to solve your currency rates problems.

In my current project, for instance, our developers have problems handling Year To Date calculations (please don't laugh) and the answer to similar date related calculations is so clearly explained in this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this reading and plan to go back to it regularly for priceless "how to" advice.

You may want to check this article as this is how I learned about this book and it might convince you whether or not it is for you
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