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on 17 August 2012
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. For those of you who are already in SSAS, you need to get into Tabular too! Any MDX expert out there, any AS cube expert, need to learn DAX and Tabular. This is the way the market is going. This is the demand of the job. Any company advertising for SSAS developer will require both sides. So, get this book, and get into Tabular!
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on 27 August 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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