Book Review: SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, The BISM Tabular Model
August 8, 2012 3 Comments
If you are looking to increase your Business Intelligence ‘IQ’, there is a book I want to recommend to you: “SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, The BISM Tabular Model” by Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari and Chris Webb (published by Microsoft Press).
It provides the most in-depth training available on the new Tabular framework in SQL Server Analysis Services 2012. The coverage of features is truly impressive, ranging from data modeling to development and administration. It is indeed the best and most comprehensive guide on the topic available at the moment.
As a technologist, you must be facing the interesting question of when to use BISM Tabular and how does it compare with Multidimensional cubes. This book will guide you through that decision, comparing both frameworks and pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.
Even after deciding to use BISM Tabular for your project, there is a need to select an option between loading data in-memory (using xVelocity) or relying on DirectQuery to benefit from real time reporting. The book dives deeply into this topic and establishes a comparison of features which will allow you make the right selection when implementing Tabular technology in your organization.
In addition to this, the in-depth coverage of DAX makes it a fantastic reference book when working through complex queries and formulas in order to get the most out of Tabular technology. A lot of attention is given to DAX’s conceptual underpinnings, from basic to advanced levels, always from the perspective of a BI professional.
To be a seasoned SSAS developer you must have a good understanding of how to best model the data in order to generate a user-friendly and intuitive semantic layer. With this book you will also gain that understanding, with particular emphasis on how modeling for xVelocity is different from regular data modeling and how DAX can be used to handle advanced relationships.
All these are great topics, but the book goes even further. Alternatives and best practices regarding the use of presentation layer features are also covered as well as how a Tabular deployments can benefit from the use of PowerPivot for self-service BI.
Finally, the necessary topics of how to handle security and optimize & administer the environment are explained clearly.
I must say I liked the experience of being part of the peer review team for this book. I particularly enjoyed the collection of useful links it provides. The authors have mined the best online resources available on Tabular model and they share each of them as they delve into each and every topic.
If you are interested in anything Tabular (SSAS, PowerPivot, DAX, MDX, Power View, AMO and more) I suggest you get a copy of this book. I am certain you will enjoy it! Here is the Amazon.com link to the book: