Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model

When we, the authors of this book, first learned what Microsoft’s plans were for Analysis Services in the SQL Server 2012 release, we were not happy. Analysis
Services hadn’t acquired much in the way of new features since 2005, even though in the meantime it had grown to become the biggest-selling OLAP tool. It seemed as if
Microsoft had lost interest in the product. The release of PowerPivot and all the hype surrounding self-service Business Intelligence (BI) suggested that Microsoft was no
longer interested in traditional corporate BI, or even that Microsoft thought professional BI developers were irrelevant in a world where end users could build their own
BI applications directly in Excel. Then, when Microsoft announced that the technology underpinning PowerPivot was to be rolled into Analysis Services, it seemed as if all our worst fears had come true: the richness of the multidimensional model was being abandoned in favor of a dumbed-down, table-based approach; a mature product was being replaced with a version 1.0 that was missing a lot of useful functionality. Fortunately, we were proven wrong and as we started using the first CTPs of the new release, a much more positive—if complex—picture emerged.