Where do I find Information about Analysis Services?

Where do I find Information about Analysis Services?

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The amount of information on SSAS available on the web and in book stores can be overwhelming at times. Quite often we get asked for the "best" information sources for the Analysis Services product. Obviously "the best" information source will depend on your level of experience with SSAS and whether you are looking from an admin, developer or troubleshooting angle.

Here I will list a few information sources that have been proven to be very useful for troubleshooting work in the past. 

 

Microsoft product documentation

 

A good starting point is the MS documentation provided in Books online, MSDN and Technet. The MS pages are typically very well indexed and it is sufficient to directly search the information you are looking for in a search engine of your choice.  Key words such as "Analysis Services" , "MDX" or "MSDN" help to limit the scope of the search.

SSAS 2008 R2 Books Online

 

Operations guide, performance guide, best practices

 

If you seek the latest best practices on operational and performance aspects, then our operations and performance guides are made for you. It is a joined effort of SSAS developers, SQL CAT (customer advisory team), MVPs and CSS engineers. We have a set of guides for every SSAS release. The latest ones for SSAS 2008 R2 can be found here:

SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Operations Guide

SQL Server 2008 White Paper: Analysis Services Performance Guide

The SQL CAT site  http://sqlcat.com/  is always worth a look if you search for best practices or common usage scenarios.

 

Community resources

 

A great aggregator site for "all" SSAS information available on the web is found at  http://www.ssas-info.com. Very useful as a starting point for your search. It contains a large collection of white papers, blogs, books, best practices etc.

The MSDN Forum for Analysis Services http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sqlanalysisservices can be quite helpful if you need quick answers for questions that your own research efforts could not answer. Many MVPs and MS staff will try to help you with your issue.

 

Troubleshooters

 

There are a few SSAS 2005 white papers that are coming a bit of age, but still give good value for basic troubleshooting scenarios. Here's a selection covering most frequent issues:

SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) Server Properties

Resolving Common Connectivity Issues in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Connectivity Scenarios

 Identifying and Resolving MDX Query Performance Bottlenecks in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services

 

SQL Connect site

 

Via "sql connect"  https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer you also have the option to make direct contact with our product group. You can use this site to report software problems or to request design changes in the product. It also has a built-in voting functionality that allows you to support the issues that you think deserve further consideration by the product group. But please be aware that a qualified response from the product group may take several weeks. If you have urgent issues, then please open a ticket with Customer Support Services (CSS).

 

Books

 

There's two reference books that have proven to be very useful and are definitely on my recommendation list:

a) "Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 unleashed" (ISBN 0-672-33001-6) for SSAS internals and

b) "MDX Solutions: With Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 and Hyperion Essbase" (ISBN: 0471748080) as a reference book for MDX.

 

The information in this blog was intentionally focused on the "classical" multi-dimensional SSAS Product. Information on the new Powerpivot and tabular instance products will be the subject of a forthcoming blog.

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