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Professional Microsoft® SQL Server® Analysis Services 2008 with MDX by Denny Guang-Yeu Lee, Robert Zare, Sethu Meenakshisundaram, Matt Carroll, Sivakumar Harinath

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14.3. Designing Aggregations

The power of Analysis Services is its ability to provide fast query response time for decision makers who need to analyze data, draw conclusions, and make appropriate changes in business. As per The OLAP Report (http://www.olapreport.com), OLAP is defined as Fast Analysis of Shared Multidimensional Information (FASMI). The word fast means that system is able to deliver results to users within 5 seconds, with a very few complex queries that may take more than 20 seconds. We expect most of the business users to use business client tools that graphically represent that data from Analysis Services for easy interpretation and understanding. As an end user you would expect to see the data quickly (the OLAP Report cites users typically wait for only 30 seconds as per an independent study in the Netherlands) to analyze and make decisions. Some of the common operations the client tools offer are drill down, drill up, and compare data year over year. Users do not have the time to wait hours for a response. Hence the queries sent to Analysis Services need to return data within seconds, at most in minutes. The query performance is pivotal to a successful Business Intelligence project deployment. A system that has very good performance will bring great business value to your system and company.

Even though Analysis Services supports storage modes MOLAP, ROLAP, and HOLAP, you obtain the best performance when your UDM storage mode is MOLAP. When you choose MOLAP ...

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