SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) relies on the SQL Server 2005 database, SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, and online analytical processing (OLAP) to mine project data. Figure 16-1 illustrates the overall architecture of Team System's data warehouse.
In Team System, metrics from every tool (testing tools, build, version control, and work items) are automatically pushed into several relational databases (operational stores), and then processed into an analysis cube (called TFSWarehouse). The default reports that ship with Team System tap into the warehouse to quickly generate graphs that provide a near-real-time view of the progress of your project.
SQL Server Analysis Services is an OLAP database system.
Online analytical processing (OLAP) is a term that was coined by Dr. Edgar F. Codd, considered by many as the inventor of the relational database model. Dr. Codd came up with 12 rules that allow anyone to correctly identify any OLAP system. For example, the OLAP approach is designed to provide summarized data very quickly, is typically used in business or sales applications, and is an important component of business intelligence (BI).
You aren't restricted to use Microsoft tools to access an OLAP cube. Several third-party products can help you interact with them ...