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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model Paperback – 29 Jul 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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: 18.5 x 3.8 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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 (chris@crossjoin.co.uk), 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 http://cwebbbi.wordpress.com.


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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9673cc48) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9676f7e0) 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 Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9676f834) out of 5 stars Microsoft BI MUST BUY BOOK 3 Aug. 2012
By Phil Milner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9705e414) out of 5 stars Essential reading for any BI/DW developer 18 Aug. 2014
By Ben Oastler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading quite a few books on Business Intelligence, this is the first one that really made sense. There were certainly many "penny-drop" moments. Although I wouldn't recommend this if you're just starting out, you need a bit of BI and Data Warehousing knowledge before you jump in. My only criticism is that some chapters were very detailed and quite advanced. These parts would have been better off separated in an "advanced" chapter or similar. I've found revisiting the chapters as you find practical applications also heaps with these advanced sections. Also note that the kindle version does not have a table of contents so it is difficult to jump to chapters or find specific parts without bookmarking them.

This is essential reading for any BI/DW developer and anyone learning the DAX language.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9705e600) out of 5 stars Definitive book for understanding SSAS Tabular Technology 12 Sept. 2012
By Rob Kerr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To those who've worked with SQL Server Analysis Services, Marco, Chris and Alberto are familiar names synonymous with deep expertise and understanding of the product and how to best use it. This book adds another volume to their collective library of knowledge sharing on this topic they know perhaps better than anyone else.

This book is an excellent comprehensive tutorial and reference for the architecture of SSAS Tabular models, and incorporates the standard far of real-world best practices its authors are well known for.

For anyone looking to accelerate their learning curve on DAX, SSAS Tabular design and the best way to apply these technologies, this is a "must have" reference!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9676fcfc) out of 5 stars Excellent SSAS 2012 BISM Tabular Book 13 Nov. 2012
By J Salvo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will start off by saying, whenever I see the names Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari and Chris Webb on a SQL Server Analysis Services book....I know it will good. This book is no exception! I can say with 100% honesty that this is one of the best technical books I've read.

I work with SQL Server 2012 and am eager to learn more about the tabular model. When I saw this book on Amazon, I bought it immediately and am so grateful that I did. I have many technical books that sit on shelves collecting dust; this book is definitely not one of them. After only a few weeks the book is already showing wear from use and I haven't put it on the shelf yet. I have read it cover-to-cover and plan to do so again - it is truly that good.

There are so many great aspects to this book I don't know where to begin. I can say that it does an excellent job not only covering the basics but also many advanced topics as well.

A few of my favorite topics/chapters are listed below:
◾The chapters on DAX are especially helpful, they provide an excellent overview of the language including advanced topics that I haven't found in other sources. The book also contains a chapter on DAX time intelligence functions which I found quite useful.
◾The `Building Hierarchies' chapter is excellent as well. It goes beyond the basics, covering more complex scenarios such as parent/child hierarchies and unary operators.
◾The chapter `Data Modeling in Tabular' provides a very thorough overview of common dimensional modeling topics (Type 1 and Type 2 SCDs, degenerate dimensions, junk dimensions and snapshot fact tables) and implementation best practices in the tabular model.
◾`Using Advanced Tabular Relationships' is my favorite chapter. This chapter provides examples using the DAX language to implement more complex scenarios/relationships. A few topics covered are Multicolumn Relationships (in a tabular cube a relationship can be set with one column only, but the authors provide examples that work around this limitation), Banding (grouping attribute values), Many-to-Many relationships, Basket Analysis and Currency Conversion.
◾The chapters on Security and Deployment/Processing are also well-written and very thorough. They cover many scenarios in detail.

The authors do a great job comparing the Multidimensional and Tabular technologies; They discuss the pros and cons of both models as well as reasons you may choose one over the other. In addition, the authors often demonstrate multiple ways to solve a given problem and discuss the advantages/disadvantages of each implementation. They provide excellent overviews of performance analysis and troubleshooting and warn the readers of things to avoid.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the SQL Server Analysis Services 2012 tabular model. This book will not disappoint. It is a worthwhile addition to any MS Business Intelligence practitioners library.
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