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

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

  • How to join SSAS class

  • Hi Pinal,
    I would like to learn SSAS from the scratch (practical oriented learning). Would you pls send me the trail version details

  • Hi Pinal
    Can you please provide me link from were i can download SQL Queries 2012 Joes 2 Pros Volume 1 – The SQL Queries 2012 Hands-On Tutorial for Beginners

  • Thank you for letting me know about Pluralsight. I have wroked with SQL Server for more than 10 years including SSIS. I do not have experience with SSRS or SSAS. A few times I have worked tutoriasl on SSAS, though these tutorials do not explanin SSAS from the beginning and are confusing for that reason. I will try Pluralsigh and let you know what I thin.

  • Hi pinal,

    I am interest to learn SSAS from basics. so my choice is “Introduction to Analysis Services” .

  • as i am on bench my lead asked me to learn SSAS. this article is useful, can you help

  • I know basics of SSAS,I want to learn indepth of SSAS..could you please help me?

  • HI, I would like to learn SSAS, would you please help me to gain the access to the course. Thank you

  • Nice review

  • Theo Theodorou
    March 25, 2014 2:01 am

    I checked out the Pluralsight web site and it looks promising but are there alternative resources worth checking out before committing to a subscription.

  • Hi Pinal,

    I would like to increase my MSBI stack knowledge. I’m well versed with SSRS & SSIS but no knowledge on SSAS. I want to gain knowledge on SSAS also. Will request you to please give access for the course.

  • Excellent, Love to take the course

  • Thanks Pinal,

    I would like to add topic working with dmv and memory management.

  • Hi Pinal,

    I read all the above blogs and found that your knowledge is really helping people to enhance their skills. I need your suggestion regarding my carrier. I am working with one of the application hosting company and I own approx 3-4 years of exp. still my carrier is no where. I am struggling with the domain to get into. PLEASE HELP.

    Let me give you the background of my work profile. I work in different- different technologies in my company and its just an L1 support. If I talk about market demand for those technologies, its NILL… :(

    I am planning to move into SSAS and have bit knowledge of SQL too. Please suggest.
    Should I start my carrier with this Domain or not? I really want to get into a DOMAIN so that I can secure my future…..

    Thanks for your time.

  • I am a beginner to deal with SQL, i refferered to join your site by my friend i am sure i will get much more deep knoweledge from you,thanks.

  • I have read about you couple of times when I do a search about ‘database’; yet again, I search about it again today, and this blog came up. I know it has been a while since you posted this article, but I really appreciated your inside knowledge that you are sharing with us.

    I am new in this field, with very little network, I am trying to grasp on as much as I can. Do you have any suggestions on how to become a PRO in database. I have very little experience with MySQL and MS SQL only – all relational database – I am currently enrolled in an institution technology in BC, Canada for applied database system and design – trying to understand about data warehouse and SSIS. Is there anything you could suggest? I do not have a lot of IT experience, except IT Support in non-related IT field – basically an office manager who happens to have Information System degree, so I do basic troubleshooting everyday at work, but passionate about database and its technology, would love to get into this field and leave all the administration behind.

    Oh, I know you probably get these kind of messages everyday, but I really need someone to guide and since I have no network in this field.. I find myself hitting roadblock. PS. who knows, I could have as much knowledge as you one day.

  • Hi Pinal,
    I always read your blogs and read your bibliography at net in a video as well how you have done all these things, it’s really great inspiration for us.
    I joined a company as a Sr BI developer I have exp in SSIS,SSRS,Little bit knowledge of SSAS as well I wanted to go deep knowledge on SSAS.


  • Please provide a exact link where we can learn SSAS step by step.

  • I am a MSBI developer. I have some basic knowledge in ssas. I want to explore more in ssas.

  • Hello Pinal sir,
    I would like to learn SSAS, is the link still active? If yes then please help enrollling for a 30 day sudscription.


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