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Applied Microsoft Analysis Services 2005: And Microsoft Business Intelligence Platform Paperback – December 15, 2005
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About the Author
He is the author of Microsoft Reporting Services in Action. He lives with his family in Atlanta, GA. Visit Teo's website www.prologika.com for sample chapters, code download, discussion list, and blog.
Top customer reviews
While the author clearly has "encyclopaedic" knowledge of the product suite, examples I came across were incomplete and quite frankly frustrating. For example, in Chapter 6, the author introduces us to the concept of using dimension definition templates for creating our Inventory cube "top-down" (meaning, without a data source)... while the instructions are clear on how to use a template to satisfy our Product dimension requirement (using the "Product" template), the author provides absolutely NO indication on which template we should use to create our Location template-- all the author writes here is "...Follow similar steps to create the Location dimension". That's it, nothing else (Chapter 6, Page 200)... no explanation is provided as to whether we reuse the Product template or not.
This book has many other examples of such dead-ends (half-truths and other misleading information). For instance, in Chapter 5, Page 188, on the topic of optimizing performance by caching linked object queries, the author writes: "...both linked dimension and measure groups expose RefreshPolicy and RefreshInterval properties which can be set at design time....". However, when I went through the associated example, I found that only linked measure groups expose said properties in support of linked object caching.
Once again, I do share the enthusiasm of the other reviewers, and have (to be fair) found some solid value in this book in explaining some of the new concepts related to the UDM, and the attribute-centric approach to creating dimension hierarchies (among other things). I also find the greatest value in a technical book to be the balance between clear explanations of new and/or thorny concepts (which this book does rather well) and clear examples for the reader to work through (which this book often does not). Nevertheless, I question the integrity of any reviewer quick to give a book 5 stars without actually reading through, actually trying each and every example, and rating the work objectively. Granted: no first version of any technical book can be perfect, but to quickly rush to awarding a book 5 stars is a dodgy practice at best-- perhaps indeed luring us to purchase a book we may later regret.
Caveat empor. 2.5 stars for this book....
The author gives you the explanation of UDM and why it is used in SSAS 2005 along with the pros and cons. He describes a pristeen 4 step design methodology (doesn't evangelize) which, for me as a novice, is appreciated. He explains fact tables, dimension tables, measures, hierarchies and attributes (key to SSAS 2005) and how these are best used to create real world solutions. There is plenty of advice on how to accomplish these with caveats where necessary.
I found this a very well done book and extremely useful in my work. I would recommend this book to anyone of any level up to those who actually wrote the code as you will gain a wealth of knowledge and be able to apply it right away.
The one suggestion I have is that the reader have SSAS 2005 at hand when reading. Going through the tutorials and examples is the aspect that gives me longer knowledge retention.
The author is very friendly and helpful and is welcome to suggestions. Few times have I seen any author so willing to solve problems / issues that their readers (and other developers in general) have. Five stars to the Author.
A much needed addition would have been the inclusion of DMX queries in the book. Also it would be really helpful if some common error messages that developers have been facing after using SSAS etc are included - then it would become the bible for SSAS, nothing else would need to be referred.
Overall a very good book. Very good writing style and content. Practical material.
Theres always scope for improvement but this is the best there is currently on the market!
While this book presents a general overview of OLAP and data mining concepts, I think a beginner may want to pick up an addtional book solely dedicated to general OLAP concepts. Also, this book does not provide detailed coverage of MDX.
My only complaint would be that the book is sometimes overwhelming. I believe this is due more to the subject matter than Teo's presentation.
However, if you are interested in OLAP/Data Mining as it relates to MSAS there is no better book in my opinion. Also of note, Teo covers more than simply using the MSAS thru its GUI. He discusses and gives examples of developing clients to programmatically interact with MSAS. Nice intro and coverage of XMLA also.
Not enough help with MDX in this book, considering writing MDX is half the battle of learning to get the most out of SSAS.