Azure Analysis Services

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I was both delighted and intrigued when Microsoft announced in Q4 of 2016 that Azure Analysis Services was available for community preview. I currently have several clients who don’t want to add more on-premises infrastructure, but could clearly benefit from having a unified semantic layer that SSAS provides. With SSAS available as a cloud service, my clients can realize the benefits of SSAS without needing to configure and manage the server on premises.

My colleague Rachel Dyer recently posted a blog on why we care about SSAS. To complement what she wrote I thought I would blog about the benefits of SSAS in Azure. However, upon doing a quick search of recent blog posts on this topic, there is ample coverage on topic. For your convenience, I’ve listed the following resources you may find interesting and informative.

Blogs:

Product Team Blog:

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/blog/introducing-azure-analysis-services-preview/

Rachel Dyer

https://www.csgpro.com/blog/2017/01/ssas-vs-desktop-why-do-we-care

Chris Webb

https://blog.crossjoin.co.uk/2016/10/25/first-thoughts-on-azure-analysis-services/

Kasper de Jonge

http://www.kasperonbi.com/analysis-services-in-azure-when-and-why/

Melissa Coates

http://www.sqlchick.com/entries/2016/10/30/why-a-semantic-layer-like-azure-analysis-services-is-relevant

http://www.sqlchick.com/entries/2016/11/29/use-cases-for-azure-analysis-services

http://www.sqlchick.com/entries/2016/12/30/where-azure-analysis-services-fits-into-bi-analytics-architecture

For some folks in the Power BI community the availability of Azure AS is not a big deal. For these folks the focus tends to be on individual or departmental BI, and for these use cases, Power BI Desktop is fully adequate for building and deploying solutions.

However, for IT Pros needing to create enterprise-scale solutions, SSAS tend to be an essential component of the solution architecture. With SSAS available as a cloud service, we have even more options for how we can implement and deploy enterprise BI solution architectures.

If you have yet to take Azure AS for a test drive, I encourage you to do so.

For additional information and pricing details:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/analysis-services/analysis-services-overview

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/analysis-services/

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/services/analysis-services/

Product Feedback and Feature Requests:

https://feedback.azure.com/forums/556165

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