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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model [Paperback]

Marco Russo , Alberto Ferrari , Chris Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 36.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 July 2012 0735658188 978-0735658189 1

Build agile and responsive Business Intelligence solutions

Analyze tabular data using the BI Semantic Model (BISM) in Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Analysis Services—and discover a simpler method for creating corporate-level BI solutions. Led by three BI experts, you’ll learn how to build, deploy, and query a BISM tabular model with step-by-step guides, examples, and best practices. This hands-on book shows you how the tabular model’s in-memory database enables you to perform rapid analytics—whether you’re a professional BI developer new to Analysis Services or familiar with its multidimensional model.

Discover how to:

  • Determine when a tabular or multidimensional model is right for your project
  • Build a tabular model using SQL Server Data Tools in Microsoft Visual Studio® 2010
  • Integrate data from multiple sources into a single, coherent view of company information
  • Use the Data Analysis eXpressions (DAX) language to create calculated columns, measures, and queries
  • Choose a data modeling technique that meets your organization’s performance and usability requirements
  • Optimize your data model for better performance with xVelocity storage engine
  • Manage complex data relationships, such as multicolumn, banding, and many-to-many
  • Implement security by establishing administrative and data user roles

Frequently Bought Together

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model + Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View + Microsoft Excel 2013: Building Data Models with PowerPivot (Business Skills)
Price For All Three: 66.41

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (29 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735658188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735658189
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 18.8 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Marco Russo is a Business Intelligence consultant and mentor. His main activities are related to data warehouse relational and multidimensional design, but he is also involved in the complete development lifecycle of a BI solution. He has particular competence and experience in sectors like financial services (including complex olap designs in banking area), manufacturing, gambling and commercial distribution.Marco is also a book author and, apart from his BI-related publications, he also wrote some books about .NET programming. He speaks at international conferences such as PASS Summit, SQLRally and SQLBits. Marco has achieved the unique SSAS Maestro certification and is also a Microsoft Certified Trainer with several Microsoft Certified Professional certifications.

Alberto Ferrari is a Business Intelligence consultant whose two main interests are in a methodological approach to the BI development lifecycle, and performance tuning of ETL and SQL code. His activities are related to designing and implementing solutions based on Integration Services and Analysis Services for the financial, manufacturing and statistical areas. He is also a book author and a speaker in international conferences such as PASS Summit, SQLRally and SQLBits. Alberto holds an SSAS Maestro certification.

Chris Webb (, SQL Server MVP, has been working with Microsoft Business Intelligence tools for over twelve 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 two books, “MDX Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 and Hyperion Essbase” and “Expert Cube Development with SQL Server Analysis Services 2008”, and is a regular speaker at conferences and user groups. His blog is available at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trio SSAS Maestro 17 Aug 2012
By Vincent
If in 2005 when SSAS 2005 came out you spent a month familiarising yourself with the new SSAS and MDX, you would get a comfortable position between 2005 and 2012 in terms of your career. SSAS pays well, have a look at itjobswatch. This year, 2012, SSAS has a dramatic change again. It is shifting from multidimensional cube to Tabular ala PowerPivot. Well, not "shifting" exactly, but opening a whole new ground. This is the time to invest a month of your time to learn about Tabular, and to grab that evolving new market. Tabular and DAX are Microsoft's answer to Spotfire and Qlikview. Self Service BI is a new growing market and the skills are lacking. This is your opportunity, my fellow MS BI developer, to grab this book, learn it for a month and label yourself as SSAS Tabular. Chris, Marco & Alberto are the top guys in SSAS. And they dedicate their time writing this book. They layout the foundation bit-by-bit so brilliantly, guiding you step-by-step into Tabular world. And they did it very systematically.

And they really put their knowledge into it. When top people like them write a book about SSAS, don't even think twice: grab the book and start reading from cover to cover. One more thing about this trio: they are all SSAS Maestro. For those of you who don't know what SSAS Maestro is, it means they are the world's top guys in SSAS. Maestro is very difficult to get. You need to get invited and only the experts are invited. And the passing rate is only 10%! And these 3 authors are all SSAS Maestro! Need I say more to convince you to buy their book?

Think about it. It's a brand new world. Even your interviewers wouldn't know about Tabular. You could pass the interviews easily! This is the time to get into SSAS.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive `magnus opus' 27 Aug 2012
This is an outstanding book. Chris, Marco and Alberto have collaborated on books before and if you have read those, you will need no persuasion to read this one also. As with their previous books, they have excellent teaching and communication skills. I am always impressed with the quality of their explanations, the examples that they choose and how those examples progress logically from the simple to the complex - most obviously in this book in the chapters on DAX, the language of tabular models.

The book is very comprehensive. It starts by setting the scene for tabular and the historical context. It has great step-by-step tutorials on installing tabular Analysis Services which help you with snapshots at all the key stages. It explains tabular's place in Microsoft's BI suite and how it relates to the other BI products including Power View (Microsoft's data visualisation tool) and PowerPivot. It has good technical chapters on DirectQuery security, deployment and processing options. It also has a good practical advice on building tabular models.

I share the view of the previous reviewer, Vincent, that there are good commercial and career advantages for BI professionals to come up to speed on tabular. My view is that the future of Microsoft BI is a predominantly tabular one.

I have the Kindle version but I will also shell out for the paper copy. It's a big book and, especially when using as a reference, I will find it easier flicking through the paper copy than the Kindle copy. It's a pity there's not a discount on buying both Kindle and paper versions together.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to learn SSAS 2012 Tabular and DAX, then BUY THIS BOOK 25 July 2012
By Kevin S. Goff - Published on
If you landed on this Amazon web page, it's likely that you had some interest in SSAS 2012 books on the Tabular Model. If that's the case, order this book and I assure you - not only won't be disappointed, you'll be happy you did.

This is an outstanding book. In the past I've seen some books (even decent books) that purport to cover one technology, but wind up covering so many other peripheral topics that the book loses sight of the original goal. This one doesn't - the content focuses precisely on the title: the BISM Tabular Model.

There are many little gems in here: from a small section on Kerberos (that helped me to understand something), to intricacies in DAX formulas, to recommendations on hierarchies, to implementing dynamic security. In addition to many complete chapters on the tabular model, here are some additional great chapters:

- The DAX chapters might even rival entire books on DAX. The authors managed to pack many examples into 2 chapters.

- The authors clearly communicate feature comparisons between the Tabular Model and the multidimensional model, and also which tabular features will work optimally (and which won't) when using the Tabular Model in PowerView.

- The chapter on security is excellent and covers several scenarios.

- The authors have a chapter towards the end on using XMLA to process Tabular Models. While I already knew most of this, I'm so glad to see authors covering this. Guys, thank you, THANK YOU.

- The authors cover advanced relationships, and show some examples of DAX formulas that you'll need to supplement bridge table scenarios. While the tabular model (in my opinion) doesn't handle many-to-many scenarios quite as gracefully as SSAS multidimensional, the authors show how you can implement equivalent functionality.

Also, SSAS multi-dimensional developers will appreciate the many comparisons between the MDM and the tabular model. This is a complete book by authors who have already developed a reputation for delivering strong content.
(And by the way, if you didn't already know it, these authors wrote "Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services" a few years ago, an equally outstanding book on the "standard" multidimensional model.

Guys, fantastic job. No book can cover EVERYTHING, but you guys came very close. It's hard to believe someone could improve on what you did with the Expert Cube Development book (which was awesome and helped me greatly), but you seem to have done it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microsoft BI MUST BUY BOOK 3 Aug 2012
By Phil Milner - Published on
If you do Microsoft Business Intelligence beyond simple reporting, this book is a must buy.

The authors clearly explain how the new version of Analysis Services fits in the Microsoft BI family of products.
Now that's a big achievement because that tool (and advanced analysis) are not easily understood.

However Marco, Alberto and Chris are both master communicators and masters of the technology.
In addition, you will begin to understand the world of database/data analysis beyond the relational database.
In our world of big data warehouses, tools beyond the relation database are a must.

Having been a Microsoft Partner Consultant, BI Architect and chairman of a Microsoft BI User's Group, I'm keenly aware of how difficult it is to communicate these advanced concepts--and to turn them into practical solutions.

The return on your time for using this book will be several orders of magnitude, and the sooner you start, the bigger the return.

Heartfelt thanks to the authors for helping all of us in the Microsoft BI World see more clearly and create better solutions!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not well-written 8 Nov 2013
By Brian C. Brown - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was surprised to see the number of 4-star and 5-star reviews for this book, and even more surprised to see claims that it was well-written. I have come to expect technical books to contain occasional typos, and this one had a few, but in particular I simply had a hard time trying to understand what the authors were saying. I found myself re-reading some sections repeatedly and not gleaning the meaning of the words. And in a number of cases I saw examples that showed how things could be done one way or another, but not really clear on the difference.

But I'm not slamming this book because it still has a lot of useful content and may, in fact, be *the* book that people think of when they reach for a book on Tabular modeling or DAX. I simply wish it had been proofread and edited for better readability.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content... 18 Jan 2014
By Matt Hughes - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just started this book but some things are crystal clear already.
The knowledge-base of the authors is surprise there.
The depth of the content is outstanding...again no surprise.
The how-to exercises are well-written and very readable.
The sample data is well organized and well documented.
It has all the makings of a five star book and may very well end up being the quintessential read on tabular.
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Resourceful 21 Oct 2013
By James - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When you put these three guys together, what do you expect. I really appreciate the amount of research time these guys save me through their blogs. The least I could do is buy their book only to realize that it's even more resourceful. Win win all the way.
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