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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What is SQL Server BI anyway?

One of the major focuses for a lot of companies these days, even in these tough times, is BI. I have wrote about this recently, specifically with the move of PerformancePoint as being part of the SharePoint offerings.

Direct link to my last post here: Dynamics BI: BI for the Masses

That post gave a real broad picture into what BI will look like from an overall Microsoft BI strategy.

However, what is BI in terms of SQL Server? Why is this important to understand?

Well Dynamics, and therefore Dynamics AX, makes use of SQL Server to run on top of. And more and more SQL Server features are being tightly integrated and very much a part of Dynamics AX solution.

Since this is the case, it makes sense, that one needs to understand BI from SQL Server point of view. In doing this, then the incorporation can better be unnderstood, and the use of SQL Server BI solutions inside Dynamics AX can be better made use of.

So what is BI in terms of SQL Server?

BI for SQL Server is made up of several key technologies / terms. They are:

These technologies make up what can be used to create BI solutions from SQL Server's point of view. Each of the above links goes to the home page found on MSDN, which contains to wonderful amounts of information about each of these topic area's.

SSRS can be used to create functional / procedural reports, where SSAS can be used to mine data, create predication based cubes, and other OLAP data dimensional cubes from transactional data. SSIS can be used to ETL, or Extract, Transform and Load data from many, many sources into a SQL Server staging or Datawarehouse that can then be used by SSRS and SSAS for reporting and knolwedge management about a businesses operations.

These are the key to understanding BI solutions from SQL Server's point of view, and answer the question What is BI in terms of SQL Server?

Next I will move forward with these topic area's for help in understanding them, and answer the next question in line: Why is this important to understand?

Check back soon, and see you later!

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