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Build an OLAP Cube in SSAS from Microsoft CDS Data

Connect to Microsoft CDS data in an Analysis Services project using the Microsoft CDS Data Provider and build OLAP cubes for use in analytics, reporting, and more.

SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is an analytical data engine used in decision support and business analytics. It provides enterprise-grade semantic data models for business reports and client applications, such as Power BI, Excel, Reporting Services reports, and other data visualization tools. When paired with the CData ADO.NET Provider for Microsoft CDS, you can create cubes from Microsoft CDS data for deeper and faster data analysis.

This article walks through creating an Analysis Services project in Visual Studio to build and deploy a multi-dimensional model of Microsoft CDS data. You will need to have an accessible SSAS instance and the ADO.NET Provider installed.

Creating a Data Source for Microsoft CDS

Start by creating a new Analysis Service Multidimensional and Data Mining Project in Visual Studio. Next, create a Data Source for Microsoft CDS data in the project.

  1. In the Solution Explorer, right-click Data Source and select New Data Source.
  2. Opt to create a data source based on an existing or new connection and click New.
  3. In the Connection Manager, select CData ADO.NET Provider for Microsoft CDS, enter the necessary connection properties, and click Next.

    You can connect without setting any connection properties for your user credentials. Below are the minimum connection properties required to connect.

    • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
    • OrganizationUrl: Set this to the organization URL you are connecting to, such as https://myorganization.crm.dynamics.com.
    • Tenant (optional): Set this if you wish to authenticate to a different tenant than your default. This is required to work with an organization not on your default Tenant.

    When you connect the Common Data Service OAuth endpoint opens in your default browser. Log in and grant permissions. The OAuth process completes automatically.

    When you configure the connection, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  4. Set the impersonation method to Inherit and click Next.
  5. Name the data source (CData Microsoft CDS Source) and click Finish.

Creating a Data Source View

After you create the data source, create the data source view.

  1. In the Solution Explorer, right-click Data Source Views and select New Data Source View.
  2. Select the data source you just created (CData Microsoft CDS Source) and click Next.
  3. Choose a foreign key match pattern that matches your underlying data source and click Next.
  4. Select Microsoft CDS tables to add to the view and click Next.
  5. Name the view and click Finish

Based on the foreign key match scheme, relationships in the underlying data will be automatically detected. You can view (and edit) these relationships by double clicking Data Source View.

Note that adding a secondary data source to the Data Source View is not supported. When working with multiple data sources, SSAS requires both sources to support remote queries via OpenRowset which is unavailable in the ADO.NET Provider.

Creating a Cube for Microsoft CDS

The last step before you can process the project and deploy Microsoft CDS data to SSAS is creating the cubes.

  1. In the Solution Explorer, right-click Cubes and select New Cube
  2. Select "Use existing tables" and click Next.
  3. Select the tables that will be used for measure group tables and click Next.
  4. Select the measures you want to include in the cube and click Next.
  5. Select the dimensions to be created, based on the available tables, and click Next.
  6. Review all of your selections and click Finish.

Process the Project

With the data source, data source view, and cube created, you are ready to deploy the cube to SSAS. To configure the target server and database, right-click the project and select properties. Navigate to deployment and configure the Server and Database properties in the Target section.

After configuring the target server and database, right-click the project and select Process. You may need to build and deploy the project as a part of this step. Once the project is built and deployed, click Run in the Process Database wizard.

Now you have an OLAP cube for Microsoft CDS data in your SSAS instance, ready to be analyzed, reported, and viewed. Get started with a free, 30-day trial of the CData ADO.NET Provider for Microsoft CDS.