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Creating Analysis Services Partitions Using BIDS

As your database grows in size, Analysis Services cubes that use that database grow along with it. As such, one thing that can improve performance of your cube is partitioning (splitting up) your measures. In this post, I am going to quickly show you how to switch from a table binding partition (default) to a query binding partition using a cube that I have built off of the AdventureWorksDW2008R2 database. In the end, you’ll know how to split your large measure groups into smaller chunks of data based on the year.


When you have your cube opened, navigate to the Partitions tab. A screenshot of what this tab looks like is shown in figure 1. You can have a partition set up for the entire table (not split up) or you can write queries that would return the data you want to be included in that partition.


Figure 1: Partitions Tab

Partitions Tab  


For my example, I am going to break out my Internet Sales measure by years. Which for the AdventureWorksDW2008R2.dbo.FactInternetSales table, we have 2005 – 2008. So, I’m going to create four partitions starting with 2005. To switch the default table binding partition to query mode, select “Query Binding” binding type as shown in figure 2 below.


Figure 2: Switching the Binding Type

Switch Binding Type  


After you switch it to query binding, you’ll be shown a query that you want this partition to contain. Since the first set of Internet Sales records were in 2005, I am just going to update the script to contain “WHERE OrderDateKey <= 20051231” as shown in figure 3.


Figure 3: Update the Script

Update the Query 


After modifying the name assigned to my new partition to “Fact Internet Sales 2005” and choosing to design aggregations later, I now have the results shown in figure 4.


Figure 4: Partition Created for 2005

Partition 2005


Now, I need to click on the “New Partition…” link to create my other partitions in a similar fashion. The slimmed down scripts used to create each of these partitions are shown in script 1.


Script 1: Queries to Partition by Year


--2005 Internet Sales Partition Query


FROM [dbo].[FactInternetSales]

WHERE OrderDateKey <= '20051231'


--2006 Internet Sales Partition Query


FROM [dbo].[FactInternetSales]

WHERE OrderDateKey >= '20060101' AND OrderDateKey <= '20061231'


--2007 Internet Sales Partition Query


FROM [dbo].[FactInternetSales]

WHERE OrderDateKey >= '20070101' AND OrderDateKey <= '20071231'


--2008 Internet Sales Partition Query


FROM [dbo].[FactInternetSales]

WHERE OrderDateKey >= '20080101' AND OrderDateKey <= '20081231'


The results after creating all of these partitions should look like that shown in figure 5 below.


Figure 5: All Yearly Partitions Created

After All Partitions are Created


That’s all there is to creating partitions. So, after assigning these partitions to my AggregationDesign as shown in the example above, deploying and reprocessing, accessing the data within the partitions should be much quicker than having to search through a massive table containing hundreds of millions of records.


I hope that you have enjoyed this post. If you did, please take just a moment to rate it below! Also, if you don’t already, please be sure to follow me on twitter at @briankmcdonald. Also note that you can subscribe to an RSS feed of my blogs.



Brian K. McDonald, MCDBA, MCSD
Business Intelligence Consultant – Pragmatic Works

Email: bmcdonald@pragmaticworks.com | Blogs: SQLBIGeek | SQLServerCentral | BIDN

Twitter: @briankmcdonald | LinkedIn: http://tinyurl.com/BrianKMcDonald


Posted by lukiller on 2 November 2010

I will try this partitioning method. Dankeschön!

Posted by homeguard on 2 November 2010

I have found it is good to use a view for your tables in SSAS.  I also suggest using SELECT * rather then the list of columns.  Going though and changing 20 or 30 partitions is time consuming when you are just adding one column.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 November 2010

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Posted by Brian K. McDonald on 3 November 2010

Views are good for nearly every circumstance, especially when talking about security. I agree.. Sometimes select * is exactly what the dr ordered. Other times, it can be detrimental to one's health. At least from the maintenance perspective right? :)

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