Multidimensional Modeling (Adventure Works Tutorial)

Applies to: SQL Server Analysis Services Azure Analysis Services Power BI Premium

Welcome to the Analysis Services Tutorial. This tutorial describes how to use SQL Server Data Tools to develop and deploy an Analysis Services project, using the fictitious company Adventure Works Cycles for all examples.

What you learn

In this tutorial, you will learn the following:

  • How to define data sources, data source views, dimensions, attributes, attribute relationships, hierarchies, and cubes in an Analysis Services project within SQL Server Data Tools.

  • How to view cube and dimension data by deploying the Analysis Services project to an instance of Analysis Services, and how to then process the deployed objects to populate them with data from the underlying data source.

  • How to modify the measures, dimensions, hierarchies, attributes, and measure groups in the Analysis Services project, and how to then deploy the incremental changes to the deployed cube on the development server.

  • How to define calculations, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), actions, perspectives, translations, and security roles within a cube.

A scenario description accompanies this tutorial so that you can better understand the context for these lessons. For more information, see Analysis Services Tutorial Scenario.


You will need sample data, sample project files, and software to complete all of the lessons in this tutorial. For instructions on how to find and install the prerequisites for this tutorial, see Install Sample Data and Projects for the Analysis Services Multidimensional Modeling Tutorial.

Additionally, the following permissions must be in place to successfully complete this tutorial:

  • You must be a member of the Administrators local group on the Analysis Services computer or be a member of the server administration role in the instance of Analysis Services.

  • You must have Read permissions in the AdventureWorksDW sample database. This sample database is valid for the SQL Server 2017 release.


This tutorial includes the following lessons.

Lesson Estimated time to complete
Lesson 1: Defining a Data Source View within an Analysis Services Project 15 minutes
Lesson 2: Defining and Deploying a Cube 30 minutes
Lesson 3: Modifying Measures, Attributes and Hierarchies 45 minutes
Lesson 4: Defining Advanced Attribute and Dimension Properties 120 minutes
Lesson 5: Defining Relationships Between Dimensions and Measure Groups 45 minutes
Lesson 6: Defining Calculations 45 minutes
Lesson 7: Defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 30 minutes
Lesson 8: Defining Actions 30 minutes
Lesson 9: Defining Perspectives and Translations 30 minutes
Lesson 10: Defining Administrative Roles 15 minutes


The cube database that you will create in this tutorial is a simplified version of the Analysis Services multidimensional model project that is part of the Adventure Works sample databases available for download on GitHub. The tutorial version of the Adventure Works multidimensional database is simplified to bring greater focus to the specific skills that you will want to learn right away. After you complete the tutorial, consider exploring the multidimensional model project on your own to further your understanding of Analysis Services multidimensional modeling.

Next Step

To begin the tutorial, continue to the first lesson: Lesson 1: Defining a Data Source View within an Analysis Services Project.