Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Unleashed Book Review Chapter 6
As I mentioned in the earlier discussion of multidimensional space, the terms used in Analysis Services are common to the industry and do not map to spacial dimensions as a physicist might expect. Specifically, the goal of Analysis Services is to limit the spacial features to a predefined subset of all possible combinations, even for the data loaded into a cube. A geometric cube mimics the universe in having theoretically infinite space, but the data in an Analysis Services cube has predefined boundaries, starting and ending points, specific attributes within dimensions, and measures. Designing a cube essentially reflects business intelligence mapped onto infinite space. I do not believe this mapping happens automatically but that the intelligent structure needs to be designed based on current and past information, and best estimates of the future.
As with chapter five, this chapter also documents sample DDL (data definition language) for a cube. These examples extend what is available in the free SQL Server Books Online. Important to this chapter is not just the cube, but also the perspective, a subset of the cube. The statement on page 72 is important for perspectives, that they do NOT act a security device to prevent access to other parts of a cube. Instead, the perspectives have a simpler task, namely to reduce the visual combination clutter presented to users through applications.
SQL Server Books Online has a good overall discussion of Planning and Architecture. This specific chapter focuses on the heart of the technology, the linkage between cubes and dimensions. As mentioned earlier, these attributes will help form the tuples to help determine a unique coordinate within the cube. Again, this book covers the architecture of Analysis Services, so if you were expecting a book which has to-do exercises, you might be disappointed. I, however, value the builder documentation which complements other literature on how to accomplish projects. This book not only describes the Analysis Services technology but also includes key terms and performance tips on making the technology work well in production.
Gorbach, I., Berger, A., & Melomed, E. (2009). Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Unleashed. Indianapolis, IN: Pearson Education Inc.