Friday, August 6, 2010

Kick some SSAS - Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services

Recently finished (cover-cover) reading of Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. Since then I've gone through a number of chapters several times as topics aligned themselves with work efforts. Looking at this book today, I noticed the covers are all curled, the pages dog-eared, and yellow highlighter is visible across multiple chapters. In my view of all things bibliothèque – that indicates value for my dollar..

Overall I would highly recommend this book to anyone with some SSAS project experience that wants to take it up a notch. Note - this is not a book for a beginner, there is not much in the way of introductory material, just a bunch of usable info around designing, tuning, securing, productionization, and monitoring SSAS cubes in SQL 2008.

There are definitely some authors opinions sprinkled across the book, and some of the designs give one pause. For instance, the chapter on calculations included a design for calculation dimensions that had me scratching my head a bit – particularly around how supportable (or explainable) it would be in my particular shop.

On the other hand, I think the value of chapter 8 alone - Query Performance Tuning, and its discussions of performance, partitioning, aggregation design, and MDX calculation performance provided value to me beyond the purchase price of the book.

Is the book perfect – not! Is it the best SSAS cube development treatment I have read to date – absolutely!