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James Serra's Blog

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    TinyInt problem in SSAS

    If you have a source table that has a Tinyint primary key column defined as IDENTITY and you create a Data Source View (DSV) in SSAS and add that table (usually a dimension table), that IDENTITY field will be incorrectly typed as System.int32. This causes ...

    James Serra  Posted on Mar 28 2012 12:00AM
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    Complex reporting off a SSAS cube

    While using a cube in SSAS is usually a great source for reporting, it is not always the best choice.  Sometimes it is better to report off of the data warehouse that the cube is built from. For example, say you want to create a P&L statement using a financial cube.  You want it to look like a ......

    James Serra  Posted on Jan 30 2012 12:00AM
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    SSAS fact table dilemma

    Here is a situation I ran into recently concerning using a fact table in SSAS.  This experience may help you out if you run into something similar: A data warehouse has an advertising table that has these four fields: Product Type, Inches, Lines, Pieces. The Inches, Lines and Pieces fields will onl......

    James Serra  Posted on Jan 27 2012 12:00AM
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    Improving cube processing time

    As your SSAS cube gets bigger, cube processing time will become a problem.  This is especially true as more and more companies want cube processing during the day instead of the usual off-hours time when no one is using the cube.  Partitioning the cube can help to reduce the processing time.  So can......

    James Serra  Posted on Jan 25 2012 12:00AM
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    Factless fact table

    A factless fact table is a fact table that does not have any measures.  It is essentially an intersection of dimensions (it contains nothing but dimensional keys). There are two types of factless tables:  One is for capturing an event, and one is for describing conditions. An event establishes the......

    James Serra  Posted on Dec 16 2011 12:00AM
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    Top SSAS white papers

    These are my favorite SSAS white papers released by Microsoft, with many from SQLCAT.  I’ll keep this post updated with new versions of the white papers as well as new ones that come along that I find useful: Analysis Services 2008 R2 Performance Guide SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Op......

    James Serra  Posted on Dec 12 2011 12:00AM
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    Role-playing Dimensions

    Dimensions are often recycled for multiple purposes within the same database.  For instance, a “Date” dimension can be used for “Date of Sale”, as well as “Date of Delivery”, or “Date of Hire”.  This is often referred to as a “role-playing dimens......

    James Serra  Posted on Nov 28 2011 12:00AM
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    Conformed dimensions

    A conformed dimension is a dimension that has the same meaning to every fact with which it relates.  Conformed dimensions allow facts and measures to be categorized and described in the same way across multiple facts and/or data marts, ensuring consistent reporting across the enterprise. A conforme......

    James Serra  Posted on Nov 21 2011 12:00AM
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    Reference Dimensions

    A reference dimension occurs when the key column for the dimension is joined indirectly to the fact table through a key in another dimension table.  This results in a snowflake schema design. The following figure shows one fact table named InternetSales, and two dimension tables called Customer (re......

    James Serra  Posted on Nov 18 2011 12:00AM
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    Degenerate Dimensions

    Degenerate dimensions, also called fact dimensions, are standard dimensions that are constructed from attribute columns in fact tables instead of from attribute columns in dimension tables.  This is because useful dimensional data is sometimes stored in a fact table to reduce duplication, especially......

    James Serra  Posted on Nov 16 2011 12:00AM
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