Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Tabular versus Multidimensional Modeling

According to Microsoft TechNet (2012), the distinction between tabular versus multidimensional modeling is operationally significant for analysts:
Multidimensional modeling, introduced with SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services and continuing through SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, enables BI professionals to create sophisticated multidimensional cubes using traditional online analytical processing (OLAP).

Tabular modeling, introduced with PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010, provides self-service data modelling capabilities to business and data analysts. The tabular modeling experience is more accessible to these users, many who have spent years working with data in desktop productivity tools like Excel and Microsoft Access. In SQL Server 2012, tabular modeling has been extended to enable BI professionals to create tabular models in Analysis Services or to import a tabular model from PowerPivot into Analysis Services. Note that a PowerPivot model cannot be imported into an Analysis Services multidimensional model.
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Business intelligence (BI) analysts who have not yet done so will want to become conversant about PowerPivot for Excel, PowerPivot for SharePoint Services, Analysis Services Tabular, and Analysis Services Multidimensional. Follow the link below to learn more.

Source: Raja, N (2012, May 3). Choosing a Tabular or Multidimensional Modeling Experience in SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services. Microsoft TechNet.

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