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Getting Started with Azure Analysis Services

If you’re working with Azure, hopefully you’re already taking advantage of Azure Analysis Services. There are many benefits here including; scale resources to match your business needs, easily visualize your data using your favorite data visualization tool (like Power BI), as well as govern, deploy, test and deliver your BI solution with confidence.

One of the best things about Azure Analysis Services is that you can get started quickly using Azure Resource Manager to create and deploy an Azure Analysis Services instance within seconds, and use backup restore to quickly move your existing models to Azure Analysis Service. In today’s post I’ll give a quick demo to help you get started:

  • To begin, log on to the Azure Portal and click on the + button to add a new service.
  • Type in Analysis Services and then click on Create.
  • Then to set this up, enter the server name, select a subscription, resource group, location and select a pricing tier. You also need to select an administrator and a storage key expiration (if there is one). Then click Create.
  • At this point, in my demo, you can see the deployment was successful. I then click on my new testazuretabularmodel under All Resources.
  • From here, we can click on the Manage button and then on New Model.
  • Then under New Model/Where is your data, we choose a data source. In my case, I just click to provide sample data, then click the Add button.
  • Now that our Tabular model has been created in Azure, we can see it in the Azure portal.
  • Next, I click on Manage and see that the Adventure Works database was created.
  • From here we have a few options: we can open in Web Designer, which is being deprecated, we can open in Excel as an ODC file, we can open in Power BI Desktop or, lastly, we can open in Visual Studio.
  • Another nice feature is it also can also be viewed from SQL Server Management Studio 2017.
  • In my demo, you’ll now see we’ve already connected to the new tabular model and there are tables that are comprised in the tabular model.
  • Something else we can do is ingest the tabular model into our Visual Studio 2017 SSDT.
  • We did this by creating a new project and imported from a model. We entered the URL credentials and we were able to download the URL credential objects into a nice SSDT Visual Studio formatter.
  • From here you can see that the measures are there, as well as the tables. You can also build the project, as well as redeploy the project. So, if you want to make some modifications or enhancements, that’s how you would do so.
  • The last step is using Power BI. In my demo, I connected to my new tabular model and you’ll see the same tables that comprise the tabular model.
  • We can get at the tabular model from a variety of angles and it’s a great feature when working in the Azure platform because it can scale and grow and easily modifiable. Plus, a lot of developers can work on it at the same time.

If you’d like to learn more about Azure Analysis Services and take advantage of the scale, flexibility and management benefits of the cloud, we’d love to help. Click the link below or contact us to discuss the benefits of this or anything in the Azure platform—we’re here to help you take your business from good to great.

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