[Update 10/19/2009] The changes detailed in this post are still applicable for TFS 2010. I just published another post with additional cube schema changes that we have made for Beta 2.
Team Foundation Server 2010 is a BIG release for us by all counts. We have made conceptual changes; Brian introduced some of the key concepts in TFS 2010 that includes the concept of Team Project Collections (TPCs). These changes required a lot of infrastructure support that we built from the ground up and changes to all the subsystems including the warehouse adapters, relational warehouse schema and the Analysis Services cube schema.
As our Beta 1 release approaches, I wanted to outline the changes to the relational warehouse and cube schema. These are, unfortunately, breaking changes. While we will provide an updated set of out-of-the-box reports (details below), these schema changes will affect your custom reports. By custom reports, I mean SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) or Excel pivot table/chart reports you may have authored against the warehouse or cube.
First, a bit of history
We get a lot of validation about the incredible value that our reporting platform provides. But, we also know that SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports aren’t easy to build. In our previous releases, we had our Analysis Services cube as the only supported interface for report authoring. However, we recognize that MDX has a huge learning curve for building complex reports using SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) and that ad-hoc reporting with Excel pivot table/chart or SQL Server Report Builder didn’t go very far.
While the SSRS team has made great improvements in Report Builder 2.0 when compared to the previous version and they continue to invest in making it easier for end users to author reports, we had work to do as well.
Here are some of the main reasons we invested in improving the schema:
Cube Schema Changes
TFS 2008 TFS 2010
Here are the main changes to the Team System cube in TFS 2010:
Here are the main additions to the Team System cube in TFS 2010 to support the new functionality that is available:
Relational Warehouse Schema Changes
Though our relational warehouse database was not a supported reporting interface, we have made some changes that are worthwhile to mention for customers who are going directly against this database to author reports.
Here are the main changes to the relational warehouse database in TFS 2010:
TFS 2008 TFS 2010
In TFS 2010, we will ship a brand new set of out-of-the-box SSRS reports that work against the new schema. We also authored these reports as Excel workbooks that will ship with the product as well. These Excel workbooks will “light-up” with our new dashboards in TFS 2010; for customers who use Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). These new Excel workbooks will also be available for customers who choose Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). Look for more information about the dashboards on our team blog by one of my colleagues.
In addition, to make it easier for customers using SSRS reports that shipped with TFS 2008, we are also updating TFS 2008 reports to work against the new schema changes as well. These updated reports will ship as part of TFS 2010.
We are planning to release a whitepaper to help convert your custom reports to work against the new relational warehouse and cube schema. Stay tuned. We always welcome your feedback! Please leave a comment on this post or send me an email at sunder.raman at microsoft.com.