What Is SQL Analysis Services?
Updated: Jan 25
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is a component of the Microsoft SQL Server database software that provides online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining functionality for business intelligence (BI) applications. It allows you to create and manage multidimensional data structures, called cubes, that can be used to quickly analyze and understand large amounts of data. A cube is a multidimensional data structure that is optimized for fast, complex queries and calculations. It stores data in a hierarchical format, where each level of the hierarchy represents a different aspect of the data, such as time, location, or product. SSAS also supports data mining, which allows you to discover patterns and relationships in your data. It includes several data mining algorithms and it's possible to create custom data mining models to suit your specific needs. It also allows you to create and manage dimensions and hierarchies, which are used to organize the data in a cube and make it easier to navigate and analyze. It also includes a visual design tool, called SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), which makes it easy to create and manage cubes and dimensions. It supports both on-premise and cloud-based deployment and it can be integrated with other Microsoft products such as Excel and SharePoint, and Power BI.
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is a Microsoft technology for creating and managing multidimensional databases, also known as OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) databases. There are two main editions of SSAS: Standard and Enterprise. The main features of SSAS Standard edition include:
Support for creating and managing multidimensional databases
Support for creating and deploying cubes, dimensions, and hierarchies
Support for creating calculated members and named sets
Support for basic data mining
The main features of SSAS Enterprise edition include:
All the features of SSAS Standard edition
Support for advanced data mining, including time series and sequence clustering
Support for creating and managing multiple partitions per cube
Support for creating and managing multiple aggregations per cube
Support for creating and managing translations of metadata
Support for data access through OLE DB for OLAP and XML for Analysis (XMLA)
Support for creating and managing perspectives
Please note that the above list is not exhaustive, and there are other features available in both Standard and Enterprise editions, but the above mentioned are the key features differentiating both edition.
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) supports both tabular and multidimensional cubes. Tabular cubes are a newer type of cube model, introduced in SQL Server 2012, that uses a relational model to represent data, similar to a table in a relational database. Tabular cubes can be created using the Power Pivot for Excel add-in, and are designed for use with Power BI and Excel. Multidimensional cubes, also known as OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) cubes, use a multidimensional model to represent data, consisting of dimensions and hierarchies. These cubes have been around since the early days of SSAS and are designed for use with tools like Excel PivotTables and PivotCharts. Both types of cubes can be managed and deployed through SSAS, and can be accessed through the same data access methods, such as OLE DB for OLAP and XML for Analysis (XMLA).