Printed 2017/08/16 08:22PM

SQL Server 2012: Multidimensional vs tabular


To expand on what I talked about in SQL Server 2012 (“Denali”): Details on the next version of SSAS, there is a new data model called Tabular.  So when you are creating a new project, which model should you use, Multidimensional vs Tabular?  Well, there is no clear-cut answer, but there are some factors that can make you choose one over the other:

I would recommend going with Tabular if possible, as it is better to use for these reasons:

Keep in mind the option on creating both types of models against the same data warehouse.  Say you built a multidimensional model before tabular was released, but now want to use Power View.  You can always just build a tabular cube to allow for the use of Power View.

You can also use the tabular model to prototype in since it’s so much easier and quicker to use, and then decide later whether to convert it to a full-blown multidimensional model.  And because of its ease of use, the tabular model could also be used by power business users to prototype a cube in, and then later IT can take that model and enhance it in tabular or convert it to multidimensional (self-service BI at it’s best).

More info:

Why to use #Tabular in Analysis Services 2012 #ssas

Video Vertipaq vs OLAP: Change Your Data Modeling Approach

Decisions: PowerPivot, SSAS Tabular, or SSAS Multidimensional Model in SQL Server 2012

Observations on interoperability between BISM Tabular and OLAP clients

Comparing Tabular and Multidimensional Solutions (SSAS)

So what is the Business Intelligence Semantic Model or BISM really?

Multi-dimensional or Tabular? Which model to use?

Creating Your First Tabular Model (part 1)

Choosing a Tabular or Multidimensional Modeling Experience in SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services

SQL Server 2012 Tabular versus Multidimensional

Video BISM: Multidimensional vs. Tabular

Choosing an Analysis Engine

The choice between Tabular or Multidimensional models in SQL Server Analysis Services 2012

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