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MS Analysis Services / Getting started with Accelerator

Everyone who has ever worked with multidimensional databases analysis has most probably faced the problem of finding a suitable component that not only performs all required functions but also executes them fast. Flexmonster solved this problem and created Flexmonster Accelerator for Microsoft Analysis Services cubes – a special server-side proxy that helps you to increase data loading speed from server to customer’s browser.

Working with OLAP cubes, a browser component is communicating with the server via XMLA protocol. It’s no secret that the XMLA protocol is heavy and exchanges a lot of excessive information. Thus, it takes too much time and memory to load and process the data.

We replaced XMLA protocol and use direct requests from the Component to a server.

In this way, we have come up with solutions to two major problems that many of those who work with big data had faced to a different extent:

  • We made big data transfer from server to browser enormously fast. Our tool allows you to transfer large multidimensional data in super easy and fast way. Reporting becomes more enjoyable and prompt for your end users.
  • We greatly reduced the load on a browser memory.

Open Live Demo

Requirements

  • Flexmonster Pivot Component v2.2 ADVANCED edition or higher
  • Microsoft Analysis Services installed and configured
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4 or higher

Step 1: Configure Data Speed Accelerator on the server

The package contains following files:

  • flexmonster-proxy-ssas.exe – server-side utility that handles connectivity between Microsoft Analysis Services and Flexmonster Pivot Component
  • flexmonster.config – file that contains configuration parameters for the utility (connection string, port, etc.)

First of all, let’s review flexmonster.config file. It contains following parameters:

  • CONNECTION_STRING – connection string for Microsoft Analysis Services. Example: Data Source=localhost;. Required.
  • PORT – port number for the proxy service endpoint. Optional. Default is 50005.
  • CACHE_MEMORY_LIMIT – size of maximum RAM memory available for cache (in MB). Optional. Default is 0 (unlimited).
  • CACHE_ENABLED – indicates whether the cache is enabled. Optional. Default is true. Available since version 2.211.

After configuring all the necessary options, Data Speed Accelerator is ready to be launched. Just run the flexmonster-proxy-ssas.exe with Administrator privileges.

You can check the Accelerator is up and running by navigating to its URL in the browser (i.e. http://localhost:50005).

Step 2: Open a port for Data Speed Accelerator in the firewall

If it’s planned to allow connection to Data Speed Accelerator from outside of the server, you should open an appropriate port in the firewall. Default port number is 50005, but it may vary depending on PORT parameter in flexmonster.config file.

Step 3: Configure Flexmonster Pivot Component

Now it’s time to configure the client – Flexmonster Pivot Component. Let’s create a minimal configuration using JavaScript API (replace proxyUrl, catalog and cube parameters with your specific values):

var pivot = $("#pivotContainer").flexmonster({
	toolbar: true, 
	report: {
		dataSource: {
			dataSourceType: "microsoft analysis services",

			/* URL to the Data Speed Accelerator */
			proxyUrl: "http://localhost:50005",

			/* Catalog name */
			catalog: "Adventure Works DW Standard Edition",

			/* Cube name */
			cube: "Adventure Works",

			// Flag to use Data Speed Accelerator instead of XMLA protocol
			binary: true
		}
	},
	licenseKey: "XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX"
});

Also, it’s possible to create XML report with the same configuration:

<config>
  <dataSource type="microsoft analysis services">
    <!-- URL to the Data Speed Accelerator -->
    <proxyUrl>http://localhost:50005</proxyUrl>
    <!-- Catalog name -->
    <catalog>Adventure Works DW Standard Edition</catalog>
    <!-- Cube name -->
    <cube>Adventure Works</cube>
    <!-- Flag to use Data Speed Accelerator instead of XMLA protocol -->
    <binary>true</binary>
  </dataSource>
</config>

Cache control

Usually, the cache is a great help, but the cache becomes out of date if the underlying database is changing. By default, cache is enabled and controlled by the Accelerator.

Also, it is possible to disable cache by the following parameter in flexmonster.config (available since version 2.211):

CACHE_ENABLED = false