Tools and applications used in Analysis Services

APPLIES TO:yesSQL Server Analysis ServicesyesAzure Analysis Services

Find the tools and applications you'll need for building Analysis Services models and managing deployed databases.

Analysis Services Model Designers

Models are authored by using project templates in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), a Visual Studio shell. Project templates provide model designers for creating the data model objects that comprise an Analysis Services solution. SSDT is a free web download updated monthly.

Download SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)

Models have a compatibility level setting that determines feature availability and which release of Analysis Services run the model. Whether you can specify a given compatibility level is determined in-part by the model designer.

Tabular models using the latest functionality, such as BIM files in tabular JSON format and bi-directional cross filtering, must be created or upgraded at compatibility level 1200 or higher.

If you require a lower compatibility level, perhaps because you want to deploy a model on an earlier version of Analysis Services, you can still use the model designer in SSDT. Newer versions of the tool support creating any model type (tabular or multidimensional), at any compatibility level.

Administrative tools

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is the primary administration tool for all SQL Server features, including Analysis Services. SSMS is a free web download updated monthly.

Download SQL Server Management Studio

SSMS includes extended events (xEvents), providing a lightweight alternative to SQL Server Profiler traces used for monitoring activity and diagnosing problems on SQL Server 2016 and Azure Analysis Services servers. See Monitor Analysis Services with SQL Server Extended Events to learn more.

SQL Server Profiler

Although it's officially deprecated in favor of xEvents, SQL Server Profiler provides a familiar approach for monitoring connections, MDX query execution, and other server operations. SQL Server Profiler is installed by default. You can find it with SQL Server applications on Apps in Windows.


You can use PowerShell commands to perform many administrative tasks. See PowerShell reference for more information.

Community and Third-party tools

Check the Analysis Services codeplex page for community code samples. Forums can be helpful when seeking recommendations for third-party tools that support Analysis Services.

See Also

Compatibility Level of a Multidimensional Database
Compatibility Level for Tabular models