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Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Cube behind the Power View - Part II - Create, Deploy & Process

I hope everyone is having a blessed, Dynamics filled week! Hard to believe that we are well into April of 2013. I do love when the days get longer, the sun is closer, and there is plenty of vitamin D to be absorbed. With this, I wanted to continue the series that was started yesterday, focusing on 'The Cube behind the Power View'. In yesterday's post, Part I - Perspective, we covered the in's and out's of modeling a cube from a perspective.

Having gone through the previous post, you should have a perspective that is ready for targeting a brand new Analysis Services project. After generating the analysis services project in the AOT, we will further create, deploy & process our newly generated cube. Lets get's started then!

A - Create

Our next step is to make use of the 'SQL Server Analysis Services Project Wizard.' This is located within a development work space for AX 2012 R2. You then click on the Tools menu option, Business Intelligence (BI) Tools & finally launch the wizard. Shown in the below image is that exact path.

In launching the Analysis Services Wizard, you should see a screen shot similar to what we see in the below image.

Clicking on the next button will take you to the first prompt where we start to configure this session of the Analysis Services Wizard.

You will notice in the above screen shot, that I have selected the create option. Further I've supplied what the project should be called. The goal is to create a separate SSAS database, and cube within. This leaves in tact the out-of-the-box cube database and cube elements. Further you will notice the name I've given this new project. It has a prefix, which is recommended being this will live in the AOT. Since I work for Sunrise Technologies, I use the prefix of "sun".

Clicking next after filling in the prompt for the create option, will lead us to the below image.

You will notice in the above screen shot, that we have selected the Sales Data perspective. This is listed by label, and what the cube will be named. Moving right along from here, clicking next will bring us to the next image, shown below.

The above shows dimension possibilities from the Shared Dimensions perspective. This is not something we care about in our current targeted cube, and therefore we will leave out for now. Clicking next on this screen, with leaving everything left blank, should take you to the following.

What you see with the above, is the date dimensions in which we can select and work with. These are generated and created within Dynamics AX. We can modify these, and further create different one's, like a fiscal date set. Keep in mind that based on any dimension we selected which has a Date or UtcDateTime data type, will be crossed with these date dimensions. Dynamics AX will automatically generate this for yu via the modeling of the perspective that you created earlier. Selecting date above, and clicking next, should take you to the following screen.

The above image shows the language selection for the cube that is being targeted. Based on the languages you have setup within Dynamics AX, such can be taking advantage of here. Translations exist within cubes as they do within Dynamics AX. For our current target we are selecting just U.S. based English. Doing so, and clicking next will take you to the following.

You will see in the above image we are now generating our project. This basically ends the create portion of this post, as the Analysis Service project is now generated and living within the AOT.

B - Deploy

Now that we have created our analysis service project, we will continue using the wizard to finish things out. With that, we should see a screen shot similar to the below.

Clicking on next from the progress update, should take us to the following screen.

You will notice I'm saving the actual project to the AOT, under the name sunSalesAnalysis. This allows for again a separate project not related to the out-of-the-box cubes. Clicking next, after filling this prompt out as shown above, will take me to the following.

Here is where we actually select which cube databases we want to deploy. Since the concept of partitions came into being with R2, cubes take this into consideration. With the demo data set we have two partitions which are initial and ps. Since we only care about the inital partition and the legal entities contained therein, that is the target for deployment.

C - Process

I eject the process here, as it's an option we have selected int he above screen shot. Doing this means once the cube database is deployed it will process as well. Allowing us to remain within Dynamics AX the entire time, without having to jump into anything else to achieve this. Having made our above selections and clicking next, will take us through a series of progress updates.

Having reached the end of the deployment and processing, we should see an image similar to the one below.

In clicking next, that is it! We have created, deployed & finally processed our new cube. If there where multiple cubes targeted for this specific database, then those would have processed as well. Just to show that this processing took place, I quickly consumed the Sales Data cube from within SQL Server Data Tools. You can see this data, processed in the cube in the image below.

Now obvious there are plenty of things that can be done from this point. More advanced topics that could and should be covered. However there is only so much one should write at a given time, specifically for the type of medium you find yourself reading right now. I hope this helps you out, and further helps show how easy it is to create a cube. Finally, keep in mind the focus of extending power view within Dynamics AX. The combined knowledge should give you exactly what you need to really start taking advantage of the bull BI Semantic Model. Make sure to check back soon & often! Til Next Time!

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