Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Using ActiveAnalysis as an OLAP Client for Microsoft Analysis Services

GrapeCity ActiveAnalysis for Silverlight, Windows Forms and ASP.NET supports Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) OLAP cubes via the built-in MDX Data Source control.

That means you can embed ActiveAnalysis in your Silverlight and .NET applications as a rich, interactive drag and drop OLAP and Data Visualization client for Microsoft Analysis Services (SSAS). If bound to an OLAP (MDX) data source, ActiveAnalysis delegates all data management and calculations to the server and this greatly increases application performance for large datasets.


Analyzing a Microsoft Analysis Services Cube or a Perspective
You can either connect to Cubes or optionally, any perspectives created within these cubes by using Microsoft Analysis Services. Perspectives are viewpoints that narrow down the amount of data available in the entire data cube to present only relevant attributes, measures, KPIs, and named sets.



Analyzing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
The KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) list contains fields that measure progress toward a goal for the organization. These are created in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services using MDX (multidimensional expressions) and calculated members. ActiveAnalysis interprets KPIs as simple measure values and if the default rendering theme is selected, it will display them as dark khaki color so they are easily distinguished from blue attributes and green measures.



Working with Named Sets
ActiveAnalysis recognizes the Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Named Sets list. A Named Set can either be an expression or a set of dimension members. They are created in Microsoft Analysis Services using cube data, arithmetic operators, numbers, and functions to make complex set definitions reusable.

When you drag a Named Set and drop it onto an ActiveAnalysis Column or Row shelf, with the default theme, it appears in blue, like an attribute, and adds a field to the Filters shelf.

Benefit of using ActiveAnalysis with Microsoft Analysis Services (SSAS)
ActiveAnalysis can be used as a Microsoft Analysis Services (SSAS) /SQL OLAP client in Silverlight and .NET to allow end users to leverage actionable information effortlessly from all Microsoft SQL Server relational and cube data sources. Cross-tab grid views, graphs, dashboards that combine multiple views – for comprehensive business intelligence (BI) – are all available to end users via simple drag and drop actions.

For more information, see:
How to use Perspectives, KPIs, Named Sets
How to connect to a Microsoft Analysis Services MDX data source