Analyze SQL Analysis Services Data with Power Pivot

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SQL Analysis Services ODBC Driver

The SQL Analysis Services ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from SQL Analysis Services, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Analysis Services report data like you would a database, through a standard ODBC Driver interface. Supports Direct Query and MDX query capabilities.



This article walks you through the process of using the CData ODBC Driver for SQL Analysis Services from Power Pivot. You will use the Table Import Wizard to load SQL Analysis Services data. You can visually build the import query or use any SQL supported by the driver.

The ODBC protocol is used by a wide variety of Business Intelligence (BI) and reporting tools to get access to different databases. The CData ODBC Driver for SQL Analysis Services brings the same power and ease of use to SQL Analysis Services data. This article uses the driver to import SQL Analysis Services data into Power Pivot.

Connect to SQL Analysis Services as an ODBC Data Source

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

To connect, provide authentication and set the Url property to a valid SQL Server Analysis Services endpoint. You can connect to SQL Server Analysis Services instances hosted over HTTP with XMLA access. See the Microsoft documentation to configure HTTP access to SQL Server Analysis Services.

To secure connections and authenticate, set the corresponding connection properties, below. The data provider supports the major authentication schemes, including HTTP and Windows, as well as SSL/TLS.

  • HTTP Authentication

    Set AuthScheme to "Basic" or "Digest" and set User and Password. Specify other authentication values in CustomHeaders.

  • Windows (NTLM)

    Set the Windows User and Password and set AuthScheme to "NTLM".

  • Kerberos and Kerberos Delegation

    To authenticate with Kerberos, set AuthScheme to NEGOTIATE. To use Kerberos delegation, set AuthScheme to KERBEROSDELEGATION. If needed, provide the User, Password, and KerberosSPN. By default, the data provider attempts to communicate with the SPN at the specified Url.

  • SSL/TLS:

    By default, the data provider attempts to negotiate SSL/TLS by checking the server's certificate against the system's trusted certificate store. To specify another certificate, see the SSLServerCert property for the available formats.

You can then access any cube as a relational table: When you connect the data provider retrieves SSAS metadata and dynamically updates the table schemas. Instead of retrieving metadata every connection, you can set the CacheLocation property to automatically cache to a simple file-based store.

See the Getting Started section of the CData documentation, under Retrieving Analysis Services Data, to execute SQL-92 queries to the cubes.

Connect from Power Pivot

Follow the steps below to connect to the DSN in Power Pivot.

  1. In Excel, click the Power Pivot Window icon on the Power Pivot tab to open Power Pivot.
  2. Launch the Table Import Wizard: Click the Get External Data from Other Data Sources button.
  3. Select the OLEDB/ODBC source option.
  4. Click Build to open the Data Link Properties dialog.
  5. In the Provider tab, select the Microsoft OLEDB Provider for ODBC Drivers option.
  6. In the Connection tab, select the Use Data Source Name option and then select the SQL Analysis Services DSN in the menu.

Select and Filter Tables and Views

Follow the steps below to use the wizard to import SQL Analysis Services tables. As you use the wizard to select, filter, and sort columns of SQL Analysis Services tables, Power Pivot generates the query to be executed.

  1. After selecting the DSN in the Table Import Wizard, select the option to select from a list of tables.

  2. Click Preview & Filter to select specific columns, sort data, and visually build filters. To include or exclude columns, select and clear the option next to the column name.

    To filter based on column values, click the down arrow button next to the column name. In the resulting dialog, select or clear the column values you want to filter. Alternatively, click Number Filters or Text Filters and then select a comparison operator. In the resulting dialog, build the filter criteria.

  3. Return to the Select Tables and Views page of the wizard. You can access filters by clicking the Applied Filters link in the Filter Details column.

Import and Filter with SQL

You can also import with an SQL query. The driver supports the standard SQL, allowing Excel to communicate with SQL Analysis Services APIs.

  1. After selecting the DSN in the Table Import Wizard, select the option to write a query.
  2. In the SQL Statement box, enter the query. Click Validate to check that the syntax of the query is valid. Click Design to preview the results and adjust the query before import.

  3. Finish the wizard to import the data for your chosen query.

Refresh On Demand

Connectivity to SQL Analysis Services APIs enables real-time analysis. To immediately update your workbook with any changes, click Refresh.