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Data Structures in SQL Server Analysis Services
Part four of a four-part series of blogs

This series of blogs introduces the basic data structures for storing data, including OLTP and OLAP databases.

  1. Types of Data Storage Structures
  2. Comparison of the Two Storage Methods
  3. Cubes in SQL Server Analysis Services
  4. Summary of Jargon in SQL Server Analysis Services (this blog)

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 May 2011

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Summary of Jargon

Unfortunately, Analysis Services is absolutely full of jargon. This page summarises some terms to start us off.

Dimensions, Measures and Facts

The main terms used for a cube are as follows:

Term What it means
Dimension A cube has one or more dimensions: here there are two, since we are showing the number of Oscars by studio and director.
Measure A measure is any statistic being reported (here the number of films for each combination of dimension).
Measure group Where there are two or more statistics, these form a measure group. For example, if we were reporting the total number of Oscar nominations and the total number of Oscars won for each film, these two measures would form a measure group.
Fact table A fact table is a table which isn’t being used as a dimension: here the tblFilm table containing the Oscars data is a fact table.

Here is an illustration of dimensions and measures:

Dimensions and measures

If you want to read on, the next tutorial in this series is on Visual Studio and Business Intelligence Development Studio.

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