SQL SERVER – Learning SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) Online in 6 Hours – Top Down Designing and Bottom Up Designing

Those who are following me on Twitter and Facebook know that recently I am reinforcing my own concept for SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS). Like many of us, I worked with Analysis Services in early years. In an earlier job, I got many projects for relational database performance tuning and over time, I lost touch with SSAS. This does not mean that I forgot all of the concepts, but the ‘real’ hands-on experience was gathering dust. Looking back at the last five years, I realized that I have deep experience with relational performance tuning, but there are a few new things which I have yet to explore and learn.

My Learning

One weekend I decided to learn SQL Server Analysis Services. I woke up early in the morning at 6 AM and by 7 AM I was sitting with coffee at my dual screen computer monitor. I had a free subscription to Pluralsight so on one screen I turned on their Analysis Services Fundamentals course. This course is well organized and I attended first six modules by 1 PM. After having a quick lunch with my family, I reviewed all the tasks and lessons given in the course. As it was the weekend and I had properly digested all the concepts, I decided to continue the remaining four modules the next day. The next day, the same routine: I followed and finished all the remaining modules along with the exercises. At the end of six hours of video learning and practicing for more than 8 hours, I felt very comfortable with the subject. I re-discovered my knowledge of SSAS which I used to practice a few years ago, before I opted for performance tuning.

Course Details

You can read the official details of the course here yourself. Here is my view of this course. This course is very well structured. I have found many books and attended SSAS training where the training starts with Bottom Up Designing methodology. I have never had any course where the instructor started from Top Down Designing methodology. This course really got my attention as it covers the all the core concepts in a very reasonable time with crisp and clear instructions. After that it jumps to very easy to understand and follow-along demos where one can practice their skills. I am personally a big fan of the AdventureWorks database as that makes our life much easier and everybody has access to that database for free. Thanks to the instructor, Stacia, for using the same database for every single demonstration and exercise.

I have seen many demonstrations where someone takes an already-built cube and imports that into the system and starts explaining various concepts of the cube. I personally do the same when I have to demonstrate some cool new feature of the SSAS in a one hour presentation. However for in-depth learning, the whole game is different and I prefer to learn from the beginning. I prefer to learn how dimensions are built, how measures are categorized and how cubes are built from nothing. One always learns properly when the lesson is explained in structured manner. In this course Stacia has done the same thing – starting from no elements on screen and very quickly building all the modules from scratch. A perfect experience for beginners and experts.

SQL SERVER - Learning SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) Online in 6 Hours - Top Down Designing and Bottom Up Designing myssaslearning

Course Content

This course covers various topics and you can read all the documentations on the official course page. However, as an outline, here are the module names. I am also attaching the image which demonstrates that I have attended every single module of the course. If you stop the course any place during the lesson, when you come back to the course content page tracks your progress; this is very convenient.

  • Introduction to Analysis Services
  • Dimensional Model Development
  • Dimension Development I
  • Dimension Development 2
  • Cube Development I
  • Cube Development 2
  • Calculations 1
  • Calculations 2
  • Database Processing
  • Security

Future Expectations

The title of the course says this is an Introduction to Analysis Services. However, I thought this was quite a comprehensive course. I am assuming that there will be another version of this course. Stacia  also hinted couple of times during the course, what will be in the advanced course. Well, what I expect in the advanced course is that the quality and presentation stay the same.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com

SQL Server, SQL Training, SSAS
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147 Comments. Leave new

  • I have two data sources say A and B in ssas, but i want measure say X1 from A, how to proceed with this? Please suggest

  • In my system I don’t have management studio and sql server data tools, still I want to access my cube. How to do that? Please help

  • Sir, i have one more doubt, I want to add prefix or suffix to my calculated members(i.e. only to the column name say A+B# or #A+B).

    Please suggest

  • I am DBA/ Developer and would like to learn Analysis Services as my company is introducing this for the first time for reports.

  • Hi Pinal,
    I’ve been developing reports with SSRS for 4 years. Now just want to upgrade myself to be a BI developer (ie, using SSAS and SSIS together). I’ve got some knowledge of SSAS, but not in-depth knowledge. Could the courses on PluralSight useful for me? Thanks.

    • Ian – Yeah there are courses on PluralSight. You can take free subscription and check them out.

  • Subhranil Ray
    May 31, 2015 10:25 pm

    Hello Pinal,

    I felt good while reading this post. I have been a web developer using ASP.NET for about 5 years. I now want to be an expert in MSBI i.e. SSAS+SSIS+SSIS. While I used to write SQL queries, stored procedures earlier, I feel that my knowledge in SQL Server is still very shallow. I would like to have indepth knowledge first with msbi and then Administration.I would like to be taught MSBI by you or thru’ pluralsight. I need to learn urgently,

  • Mondrian to ssas
    August 11, 2015 10:00 pm

    Since you are SSAS Expert , i would like to know if it is possible to migrate Penthao Mondrian cube into SSAS ?

  • Pinal, Could you please share your email id with me? I have an urgent requirement in my organisation for this training.

  • I have been a BI developer from past 6 years I want to know more in the SSAS front as I didnt got much chance to work on that…So I need to brush up my skills with this course.

  • John Valescu
    July 18, 2016 9:51 pm

    I have got to complement my db experience with more BI. I’ve built cubes and transferred data, but clients always use a different tool for SSAS. Please help this out of work engineer get back on his feet.

  • Thank You for sharing your article. I like it.

  • satyanaryana raju
    December 24, 2016 4:21 pm

    it is very good to learn SQL services in online it is very useful to people who are working in IT profession.

  • We have developed the cube and it is been refreshing daily through sql jobs this cube has been hosted in .net page to view the result to the users. Now we what the daily or weekly report how many users has been accessed the cube and duration of time spent.Cab you help me is there any article related to this topic

  • Inderjeet Kaur
    June 13, 2018 8:18 pm

    Hi Pinal, I can see only one page of this training. How can I have access to full training?
    Thanks !


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