Gartner Research

Is SQL Server Analysis Services the Tool for Your OLAP and Data Mining?

Published: 07 July 2011

ID: G00211526

Analyst(s): Nancy McQuillen


Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is a platform for enterprise online analytical processing (OLAP) based on multidimensional data cubes. It also offers guided data mining tools for non-statisticians. The OLAP cube technology is mature, widely adopted, and likely to remain popular in the SQL Server database management system (DBMS) user base. But organizations should expect some evolutionary pain as Microsoft turns its attention toward delivery of new in-memory tools and a new business intelligence semantic model (BISM) in the next release.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • SSAS Overview
    • SSAS Architecture
    • The Role of SSAS vs. PowerPivot
    • OLAP Storage Modes
    • Enterprise Management Features
    • BI Maturity for SSAS OLAP
    • Cube Size, Performance, and Scalability
  • SSAS Data Mining
  • GUI Tools
  • Standards, Interfaces, and Openness
  • SSAS Integration With Microsoft Products
    • Excel
    • Reporting Services
    • SharePoint
    • Selecting SSAS Client Tools
  • Microsoft BI Road Map: Future Release Plans
    • Choosing Classic or New SSAS
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses

The Details

  • OLAP Storage Modes
    • MOLAP vs. ROLAP Trade-Offs
    • SSAS Options Between MOLAP and ROLAP
  • UDM
  • SSAS Data Mining
  • SSAS Access Standards
  • Excel SSAS Integration
  • Reporting Services SSAS Integration
  • SharePoint SSAS Integration
  • Analysis Services Road Map: Future Release Plans
    • Business Intelligence Semantic Model
    • Improvements to UDM
    • VertiPaq Engine
    • Microsoft Guidance
  • SSAS Case Studies at Microsoft

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