Analysis Services in Business Intelligence Development Studio (Analysis Services - Multidimensional Data)

Business Intelligence Development Studio is the environment that you use to develop Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) cubes and data mining models in SQL Server Analysis Services. Business Intelligence Development Studio is the Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 environment with enhancements that are specific to business intelligence solutions. For more information about the general features of Business Intelligence Development Studio, see Introducing Business Intelligence Development Studio.

Business Intelligence Development Studio provides several unique features that help you work with Analysis Services projects and integrate Analysis Services projects with Reporting Services and Integration Services. These features are described in this topic.


Business Intelligence Development Studio, the 32-bit development environment for Analysis Services projects, is not designed to run on the IA64 64-bit architecture and is not installed on IA64 servers. You cannot use Business Intelligence Development Studio to develop, manage, or query multidimensional data sets that were built by using PowerPivot for Excel and that are hosted on a Sharepoint site. For more information about how to work with these instances, see Analysis Services in SharePoint integrated mode (PowerPivot for SharePoint).

The design surface in Business Intelligence Development Studio is specialized for each object that you work with in Analysis Services. For example, there is a designer for working with data mining models, named Data Mining Designer, and another designer for working with cubes, named Cube Designer. Solution Explorer, located to the right of the design surface, provides a mechanism for navigating between design surfaces and managing the items in a project. Business Intelligence Development Studio also contains a deployment window that displays the progress of a deployment, and a Properties window, enabling you to change the properties of selected objects. For an in-depth look at how to work in these design spaces, see the following tutorials: Basic Data Mining Tutorial, SQL Server Analysis Services Tutorial


Many new and useful actions are available from the shortcut menus that you see when you right-click labels and objects in the user interface. As you explore Business Intelligence Development Studio and the Analysis Services features discussed in this topic, make sure that you right-click various items to learn about these options.

The following sections describe the components of Business Intelligence Development Studio that are unique to Analysis Services.

  • Solution Explorer

  • Designers

  • Menus

  • Tools/Options

Analysis Services Solution Explorer

You can use Solution Explorer to move through the different components of your projects. Double-click an item in a folder to open the associated designer, and right-click a folder to add a new item to the folder.

Solution Explorer contains the following project items when you open a new Analysis Services project.

  • Data Sources. A data source represents a connection that can be shared among OLAP cubes and data mining models in a project. For more information, see Defining a Data Source Using the Data Source Wizard (Analysis Services).

  • Data Source Views. A data source view represents a subset of the data in a data source, and can also contain named queries and named calculations. Data source views can also be shared among multiple OLAP cubes and data mining models in a project. You can designate tables, views, or named queries from a data source view as the source of data for an OLAP cube or data mining model. For more information, see Defining a Data Source View (Analysis Services).

  • Cubes. A cube represents a set of measures that are grouped into measure groups and hierarchically organized by dimensions. Cubes are typically constructed from data retrieved from relational data sources, such as an OLTP database, a data warehouse, or a data mart. For more information, see Designing Cubes.

  • Dimensions. Dimensions are used in Analysis Services to organize data within cubes. Dimensions use a combination of hierarchies and attributes to represent levels of categorization within a cube. For more information, see Designing Dimensions.

  • Mining Structures. A mining structure defines the data domain from which mining models are built. A single mining structure can contain multiple mining models that share the same domain. For more information, see Data Mining Projects (Analysis Services - Data Mining).

  • Roles. Roles are used in Analysis Services to manage security for OLAP and data mining objects and data. For more information, see Security Roles (Analysis Services - Multidimensional Data).

  • Assemblies. Analysis Services enables you to add assemblies to an Analysis Services instance or database. Assemblies enable you to create external, user-defined functions using any common language runtime (CLR) language or any Component Object Model (COM) automation language. For more information, see Assemblies (Analysis Services - Multidimensional Data).

  • Miscellaneous. If you add files of other types, such as documents or images, to your Analysis Services project, these files are grouped in the Miscellaneous folder.

Analysis Services Designers

You can use the following designers in an Analysis Services project in Business Intelligence Development Studio. To use a designer, open its associated project item in Solution Explorer.

Analysis Services Menus

Business Intelligence Development Studio contains the following custom menu items that you can use with an Analysis Services project.

  • Database. Use the Database menu options to make changes to the Analysis Services database associated with the current Analysis Services project. For more information, see Defining an Analysis Services Database.

  • Cube. Use the Cube menu options to navigate through the Cube Designer, or to perform operations specific to the cube selected in Solution Explorer. For more information, seeDesigning Cubes.

  • Dimensions. Use the Dimensions menu options to navigate through the Dimension Designer, or to process the dimension selected in Solution Explorer. For more information, seeDesigning Dimensions.

  • Mining Model. Use the Mining Model menu options to navigate through the Data Mining Designer, or to perform tasks specific to the tab and options selected in the designer. For more information, seeData Mining Projects (Analysis Services - Data Mining).


    The full functionality of the menu item is not available unless the associated project item is selected in Solution Explorer.

Analysis Services Tools/Options

You can set the following options, which are specific to Analysis Services, in the Options dialog box. To access the Options dialog box, select Options from the Tools menu.

  • Connection and query timeouts. Use to set the default time-out for connecting to an instance of Analysis Services, and the default time-out for querying against an instance of Analysis Services. The timeouts are measured in seconds.

  • Default Deployment Server Edition. Use to set the edition of the server that the project will be deployed to, and to adjust the defaults for new projects that you create. This property serves as the basis for designer validations, which are specific to the edition. You can select one of the following options:

    • Developer

    • Enterprise

    • Evaluation

    • Standard

  • Default Target Server. Specifies the default server for new projects.

  • Data Mining Viewers. Use to adjust the default colors that are used in the data mining viewers.