By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-09-29 Print this article Print

After that, though, OLAP is just an optimization for [end users]. End users always ask for report versions: What region? What city? … It doesnt mean you have to copy the data. The important thing were trying to do with OLAP is to present a business view of the data. Thats how business users think: "Show me the most profitable city for each product." Thats a really cool thing to be able to find out about a product line. Thats a conceptual view of the data. But we dont have to make a copy of the data warehouse and turn it into a cube view and stick it on the disk. We can look at it with a relational OLAP lens. Were not unique in that. But it does not require any duplication of the data. If you want, for performance reasons, we and other vendors can materialize a multidimensional view on disk. You get speed, you get faster queries. But we do not have to duplicate any data to do a report.
Does Reporting Services require users to cache data?
No, Reporting Services does not require end users to cache any data. Im not sure where that perception came from. Optionally, we do caching, but we do it on the server. Whats the trade-off? Taking up space on the Reporting Services server. But youre saving the time and CPUs on the database server. Youre offloading the database server. You dont have to cache. You can cache when the first user comes in, keep the cache, expire the cache, keep it around three days or whatever. You have a lot of choices. Theres a lot of control and flexibility there. Whats the coolest feature of Report Builder? Templates. One principle is that its easier to edit than to create. If I give you a blank template, 99 percent of people just stare at it. If I give you common shapes and you can start from there, then youre off. Take it and modify it for your own needs. Next Page: The infinite coolness of infinite drilldown.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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