Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services: Migrating an Analysis Services 2000 Database to Analysis Services 2005

Monday Nov 21st 2005 by William Pearson
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Business Intelligence Architect Bill Pearson leads the hands-on migration of an old friend, the Analysis Services Database FoodMart 2000, to MSSQL Server 2005. We then verify the action of the Migration Wizard from two perspectives, the SQL Server Management Studio, and the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio.

About the Series ...

This article is a member of the series Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services. The series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MS SQL Server Analysis Services, with each installment progressively presenting features and techniques designed to meet specific real - world needs. For more information on the series, please see my initial article, Creating Our First Cube.

Note: To follow along with the steps we undertake, the following components, samples and tools are recommended, and should be installed according to the respective documentation that accompanies MSSQL Server 2000 and 2005:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Database Engine (for SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio);

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services;

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services;

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services FoodMart Sample Database.

    To successfully replicate the steps of the article, you also need to have:

  • Membership within one of the following:

    • the Administrators local group on the Analysis Services 2005 computer

    • the Server role in the instance of Analysis Services 2005.

Note: Current Service Pack updates are assumed for the operating system, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services ("Analysis Services"), and the related Books Online and Samples. Images are from a Windows 2003 Server environment, but the steps performed in the articles, together with the views that result, will be quite similar within any environment that supports MSSQL Server 2000 and 2005 and its component applications.

Introduction

One of the first tasks that awaits many of us, as Analysis Services administrators, architects, and / or consultants that work with client and employer data in Analysis Services 2000 cubes, is to provide guidance and support in the migration of the databases that house them to MSSQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. While the steps of the process themselves are straightforward, the new environment will seem bewildering to many – particularly challenging in the numerous paradigm shifts and additional options that have come along, and which combine as components of a new MSSQL Server to help this new powerhouse to merit well its being proclaimed the "BI Release."

Migrating any but the most simple Analysis Services 2000 databases and components will require consideration of the new features, as well as whether old features upon which the 2000 paradigm rested have been absorbed into new structures, done away with entirely, or which otherwise will simply not upgrade. The Unified Dimensional Modeling paradigm of Analysis Services 2005 offers a design environment where the OLAP and relational reporting environments are centralized. Making optimal use of this environment means managing fundamental changes in the structures of our cubes and other Analysis Services structures, changes in the MDX language, and a host of other new and enhanced attributes that arrive with the new release.

While certainly not a substitute for some serious study of the Books Online and other documentation that accompanies the release of MSSQL Server 2005, a quick way to gain some exposure to exactly the changes that will impact our Analysis Services databases, cubes, dimensions and so forth, might be to migrate copies of our cubes. I began doing this in early beta as a means of ascertaining the readiness of "early adopter" clients to advance with the beta. In some cases, the process brought considerations to light that allowed us to focus planning of the upcoming migrations, including an in-depth study of the existing, underlying relational structures, for enhancements that we might leverage via the new database engine considerations emerging within MSSQL Server 2005, as well as numerous other considerations whereby we might prepare to take advantage of the dramatically more integrated Microsoft business intelligence solution as a whole, including the relational database engine, Analysis Services, and Reporting Services.

In several scenarios, we found that we were able to at least "parallel" Analysis Services 2000 and Reporting Services 2000 capabilities in the 2005 environment, clearing the way for rapid migration of production and affording the enterprises the opportunity to study and test new capabilities early enough to incorporate design enhancements and other architectural improvements into the mix before cutover. The rapid and easy migration of Analysis Services databases offered a seamless way to look forward to working features and capabilities, which, in conjunction with the appropriate review of the documentation that is available, and the crafting of a plan to assimilate changes that have occurred in the component 2005 applications into our own Analysis Services objects, provides a path to rapid upgrade of existing Analysis Services implementations and the solutions they support.

In this article, we will:

  • Briefly discuss approaches available for migrating Analysis Services 2000 databases to Analysis Services 2005;

  • Introduce the Migration Wizard and discuss its general operation with surrounding considerations;

  • Prepare to use the Migration Wizard within a hands-on practice exercise, from inside SQL Server Management Studio;

  • Migrate an Analysis Services 2000 sample database to Analysis Services 2005;

  • Verify the results of our practice migration through a cursory examination of the migrated database within SQL Server Management Studio;

  • Verify the results of our practice migration through a cursory examination of the migrated database within SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio.

Migrating an Analysis Services 2000 Database

Overview and Discussion

From the perspective of MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, practitioners have three general approaches to consider in the installation of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services and the migration of Analysis Services 2000 databases. The options, with brief descriptions, appear in Table 1.

Installation Approach

Brief Description

"Side-by-side" installation with the earlier version

Often the best way to compare and contrast the environments in a convenient environment, the "side-by-side" approach is my favorite for many reasons. Because SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services does not support named instances, the instance of SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services must always be the default instance on a computer where both versions are installed. When we do a "side-by-side" installation, SQL Server Setup permits the installation of named instances of SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, meaning that SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services can continue to run as the default instance, alongside named instances of SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services.

The "side-by-side" approach lends itself to planning, and enrichment of existing models through development within an insulated environment. The development PC can thus become a formidable tool in this configuration, advancing our migration efforts while leaving the production environment in place until after we have developed and tested our evolving solutions, which we can easily stage from development with continually improving versions – versions that take advantage of the new technologies of the Microsoft integrated business intelligence solution.

"Straight upgrade" of the earlier version

By "straight upgrade" of SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, I mean the installation of SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, and the subsequent migration of existing Analysis Services databases to the SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services database format. Migration can be done as a step within an upgrade of SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, where we confirm that we wish to upgrade the existing instance of Analysis Services 2000 to Analysis Services 2005, via a Components to Upgrade page.

Alternatively, SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services databases can be migrated after we install SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, thanks to tools that are provided in addition to the SQL Server 2005 Setup mechanism. This is done by using the SQL Server Installation Wizard, among other methods (using the Command Prompt approach, etc.), to install a named instance of Analysis Services 2005. Once the Analysis Services 2005 instance is in place, we can migrate Analysis Services 2000 databases that we identify.

Migration of existing Analysis Services databases from within the SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services platform.

The Analysis Services Migration Wizard affords a means of migrating SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services database metadata to SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. The original Analysis Services 2000 databases are left intact, clone databases are created, and then the clones are recreated within the specified instance of Analysis Services 2005, in the format of the new version.


Table 1: Installation and Migration Options for MSSQL Server Analysis Services 2005>

NOTE: For more information on the approaches described above, see the installation and setup instructions, together with the Readme and other documentation, that are included on the MSSQL Server 2005 installation CD(s).

As will be apparent to many of us immediately, the flexibility in the installation and migration / upgrade processes means many possible combinations of MSSQL Server 2000 / Analysis Services 2000 / Reporting Services 2000 and their 2005 counterparts, providing a host of variable opportunities for staging partial and full cutovers, simultaneous operations of different versions within other strategies, and so forth. Once the Analysis Services 2005 databases are created, they must be processed (against the original data source) to populate their structures with the underlying data, a prerequisite to our being able to query them, as we might expect.

We can easily verify the process for, and review the results of, our upgrade procedures within the SQL Server Management Studio, as we shall see in our practice exercise that follows. Once we have ascertained that our databases are fully functional and that Analysis Services 2000 is no longer needed, we can simply uninstall the application. Having removed Analysis Services 2000, we can, moreover, rename our newly installed Analysis Services 2005 named instance as the default instance, if that is desirable.

Considerations and Comments

For purposes of the practice exercises within this series, we will be working with samples that are provided with MSSQL Server 2000. These samples consist of the FoodMart 2000 Analysis Services database, properly installed within Analysis Services 2000, as it installs along with the application from the CD. The samples are easily restored within Analysis Services from the .cab files, which can be obtained from the CD, the Microsoft site, and perhaps other locations if they have been removed from, or were never installed within, our existing environments.

A side-by-side installation of MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MSSQL Server 2005 Analysis Services is required to obtain the most benefit from this article, even though, as we have already learned, upgrades and migrations can certainly be accomplished in alternative scenarios. Suffice it to say that a side-by-side installation will provide much opportunity for learning the new Analysis Services 2005 features, as well as easy capability to compare and contrast the two versions in general. The valuable hands-on study of the enhancements and options offered by these "parallel scenarios" will provide a firm grounding in the underlying concepts, and affords a productive development environment whose rewards will be evident in the integrated Microsoft business intelligence solutions that come to life rapidly in our respective organizations.

Hands-On Procedure

Let's get some hands-on practice migrating an Analysis Services 2000 database. We noted earlier that the Migration Wizard is a convenient tool for this purpose, particularly in light of the fact that the Wizard leaves the original Analysis Services 2000 databases intact as Analysis Services 2000 databases. The Migration Wizard actually works with a copy of the original databases in recreating them on the desired instance of Analysis Services 2005.

The Migration Wizard allows us to select the Analysis Services 2000 databases that we wish to migrate, and then provides us with a couple of options for getting them to Analysis Services 2005: We can move the databases (actually copies of the databases that are created for this purpose, as we mentioned earlier) directly to Analysis Services 2005. A second option exists to have the Wizard generate an XMLA script for execution at a later time that will accomplish the same ultimate end.

We can start the Migration Wizard in several ways. We will work with the Wizard within the SQL Server Management Studio, taking the following steps:

Practice

Preparation: Access SQL Server Management Studio

1.  Click the Start button.

2.  Select Microsoft SQL Server 2005 within the Program group of the menu.

3.  Click SQL Server Management Studio, as shown in Illustration 1.

Click for larger image

Illustration 1: Opening SQL Server Management Studio

The Connect to Server dialog appears.

4.  Select Analysis Services in the Server type selector.

5.  Type / select the server name / instance, if appropriate) into the Server name selector.

6.  Supply authentication information, as required in your own environment.

The Connect to Server dialog appears, with the appropriate input for our local environments, similar to that depicted in Illustration 2.


Illustration 2: The Connect to Server Dialog, with Representative Settings

7.  Click the Connect button to connect with the specified Analysis Services server.

The SQL Server Management Studio opens.

8.  Within the Object Explorer (the leftmost pane of the Studio, by default) right-click the server in which we are working,

9.  Select Migrate Database... from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 3.


Illustration 3: Right-click the Server – Select Migrate Database ...

The Analysis Services Migration Wizard – Welcome page appears, as depicted in Illustration 4.


Illustration 4: Analysis Services Migration Wizard – Welcome Page

10.  Click Next.

The Specify Source and Destination page appears.

11.  Type the name of the Analysis Services 2000 instance into the SQL Server Analysis Services source server box.

12.  Click the radio button to the left of the word "Server," which appears just underneath SQL Server Analysis Services destination server.

13.  Type the name of the desired Analysis Services 2005 instance into the Server box, which is now activated.

The Specify Source and Destination page appears, with my local settings, as shown in Illustration 5.


Illustration 5: The Specify Source and Destination Page with My Local Settings

14.  Click Next.

The Select Databases to Migrate page appears, after a scan of the specified server, displaying all Analysis Services databases on the server. The selection checkboxes for all servers are selected by default.

15.  Click the checkbox on the column heading labeled Source Database, unchecking it, and thereby de-selecting all databases.

16.  Click the checkbox to the immediate left of the FoodMart 2000 database, as depicted in Illustration 6.


Illustration 6: Partial View of the Select Databases to Migrate Page - FoodMart 2000 Selected

17.  Click Next.

The Validating Databases page appears, as validation of the metadata begins. We see the cube structure appear in a tree as this occurs. Messages indicating the merging of some dimensions are likely, if our cube structures are similar to those I have in my local FoodMart 2000 database. The resulting Validating Databases page, once validation is complete, resembles that shown in Illustration 7.


Illustration 7: The Validating Databases Page after Metadata Validation for FoodMart 2000

We note, too, the appearance of the following text in the scrollable message box at the bottom of the page:

Validation is complete. Databases validated: 1 out of 1.The structure of the migrated database may differ from that of the source database because of changes in the data model of SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. Additionally, drillthrough settings, linked objects, and remote partitions will not be migrated. For more information about migrating from SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, reference the product documentation.

It is important to keep in mind the Analysis Services 2000 features that are not migrated into 2005 when planning the migration of cubes. In most such cases, new features compensate for those that disappear in Analysis Services 2005. Moreover, there are many other new features that had no Analysis Services 2000 counterparts, too, that we might want to consider implementing after migration of the core databases and their cubes, dimensions, measures and other objects.

18.  Click Next.

Migration begins, with the appearance of the Migrating Databases page of the Migration Wizard that appears next. We receive a confirmation message in short order, alerting us to the fact that migration has occurred, as depicted in Illustration 8.


Illustration 8: We Receive Confirmation that Migration is Complete ...

19.  Click Next.

The Completing the Wizard page appears. We see a representation of the metadata of the new database in the tree that is presented, as shown in Illustration 9.


Illustration 9: The Completing the Wizard Page of the Migration Wizard

20.  Click Finish.

The Migration Wizard closes, and we are returned to the SQL Server Management Studio, from whence we began. We can now verify the migration of the Analysis Services 2000 database, by reviewing it within the Management Studio or within the Business Intelligence Development Studio, as we shall see in the section that follows.

Verification: Examine the Migrated Database in SQL Server Management Studio

The first place we will review our migrated database will be from our current position within the SQL Server Management Studio.

1.  Expand the Databases folder that appears in the Object Explorer pane, underneath the Analysis Services server within which we are working, on the left side of the Management Studio.

The Analysis Services databases in our local environment appear.

2.  Select View --> Refresh, as depicted in Illustration 10, if the newly migrated FoodMart 2000 database does not appear immediately.


Illustration 10: Refresh the Object Explorer as Necessary ...

The Analysis Services databases in our local environment appear, including the new FoodMart 2000 database, similar to those shown in Illustration 11.


Illustration 11: FoodMart 2000 Appears Among the Analysis Services Databases

3.  Expand the new FoodMart 2000 database.

4.  Expand the Cubes folder.

We can easily review the entire structure of the database here, simply by expanding the database, and subsequently expanding the underlying folders, as depicted in Illustration 12.


Illustration 12: Objects Making Up the Migrated FoodMart 2000 Database ...

5.  Right-click the Sales cube in the FoodMart 2000 database Cubes folder.

6.  Select Properties from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 13.


Illustration 13: Open the Properties Page for the Sales Cube

The Properties page for the Sales cube appears, as depicted in Illustration 14.


Illustration 14: Example Properties Page for a Database Object

We can examine the underlying properties of each of the cube and other database objects in this fashion. While we can make modifications, deletions and so forth within the Management Studio, the Business Intelligence Development Studio is often the better option for design and development within the context of an integrated business intelligence solution, whether working with a migrated Analysis Services database, or creating such a database from scratch.

7.  Click OK to close the Properties page.

Let's go to the Business Intelligence Development Studio next, and get an introduction in opening our newly migrated database there.

8.  Select File --> Exit from the main menu, as shown in Illustration 15, to close the SQL Server Management Studio.


Illustration 15: Leaving SQL Server Management Studio ...

Verification: Examine the Migrated Database in SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio

We will examine our migrated database within Business Intelligence Development Studio, where we could also make all manner of changes to the structure of the Analysis Services 2005 database and its component objects. From the Business Intelligence Development Studio, we could enhance our business intelligence solution to leverage the new features of Analysis Services 2005, from a central, unified development environment.

1.  Click the Start button.

2.  Select Microsoft SQL Server 2005 within the Program group of the menu.

3.  Click SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, as depicted in Illustration 16.

Click for larger image

Illustration 16: Opening SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio

The Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development environment opens, beginning with the Start page, as shown in Illustration 17.

Click for larger image

Illustration 17: The Start Page, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Development Environment (Compressed View)

4.  Close the Start Page tab.

5.  Select File --> Open on the Visual Studio main menu.

6.  Select Analysis Services Database from the cascading menu, as depicted in Illustration 18.

Click for larger image

Illustration 18: Opening an Analysis Services Database ...

The Connect to Database dialog appears.

7.  Ensure that the radio button to the immediate left of Connect to existing database is selected.

8.  Type the name of the server / server with instance into the Server box.

9.  Select the FoodMart 2000 database in the Database selector underneath the Server box.

10.  Input a convenient place to store the objects created in the New solution box at the bottom of the dialog.

The Connect to Database dialog appears, as shown in Illustration 19.


Illustration 19: The Connect to Database Dialog, with Our Input

Business Intelligence Development Studio indicates that it is reading the FoodMart 2000 Analysis Services database, and then the component objects appear. We see them manifested in Solution Explorer in short order, as depicted in Illustration 20.


Illustration 20: The Database and Constituent Components Appear in Solution Explorer

Here, within the Business Intelligence Development Studio, we can perform myriad enhancements and extensions to the existing model, including its introduction to source control, the addition of Role Playing dimensions, new security options, many-to-many dimensions, translations, Key Performance Indicators, and far more. We will be examining these new features in prospective articles, where we define business needs and then meet them with the appropriate functionality(ies).

Having examined our migrated database once again, we will leave the Business Intelligence Development Studio, and bring the article to a close.

11.  Select File --> Exit, as shown in Illustration 21, from the main menu to close Business Intelligence Development Studio.


Illustration 21: Exiting Business Intelligence Development Studio

Conclusion

In this article, we examined the Analysis Services 2005 Migration Wizard. We began with a brief discussion surrounding approaches available for migrating Analysis Services 2000 databases to Analysis Services 2005. We then introduced the Migration Wizard, discussing its general operation and surrounding migration considerations. We then prepared to use the Migration Wizard within a hands-on practice exercise, from inside SQL Server Management Studio.

Within our practice exercise, we migrated an Analysis Services 2000 sample database, Foodmart 2000, to Analysis Services 2005. After using the Migration Wizard to accomplish this, we cursorily verified the results from two independent perspectives. We examined the results of the migration via the SQL Server Management Studio, and then performed a similar examination within SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, discussing the appropriateness of the latter environment for further development within the highly enriched feature set of Analysis Services 2005, and looking forward to articles where we expand upon its manifold uses.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MDX Topics Forum.

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