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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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2.1. Differences between Analysis Services 2000, Analysis Services 2005, and Analysis Services 2008

Analysis Services 2005 was not just an evolutionary step up from Analysis Services 2000, but a quantum leap forward in functionality, scalability, and manageability. Analysis Services 2008 builds on the Analysis Services 2005 architecture and enhances its functionality to make it easy and efficient for Analysis Services database developers and administrators to do their jobs. Some of the key enhancements include improvements in cube and dimension wizards to help build your multidimensional database to perform more effectively; added guidance in the Analysis Services Tools for improving design; query performance enhancements in the Analysis Services engine; and Analysis Services features such as a read-only database that help in scalability. You learn more about these key enhancements in Analysis Services 2008 throughout the book. Relational databases provide a flexible, well-known model for storing data optimized for rapid incremental updates. They also provide the end user with access to data that can be easily condensed into information-rich reports. OLAP databases, on the other hand, are typically used because of their high-end performance and rich analytic and exploration capabilities. Analysis Services 2008 merges the capabilities of the relational and OLAP worlds, providing a unified view of data to the end user. This unified model is called the Unified Dimensional Model

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