As innovative and well performing as the Fast Track and PDW approaches are, they are still nonetheless based on the idea of using star schemas to repurpose relational databases to perform dimensional queries and take on analytical workloads. Aggregations still need to be performed with T-SQL’s limited aggregation functions and GROUP BY construct, performing often very complex joins. Although it’s impressive that optimized CPU/networking/storage strategies make such queries feasible, the fact remains that relational databases really were not designed with these workloads in mind. So what if SQL Server offered another database engine that were? Enter OLAP and SSAS.
The Multidimensional Engine
SSAS actually has more than one engine, ...