Agile Design LLC Introduces Breakthrough .NET Programming Interface for SSAS Cubes

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Agile Design LLC enhances Microsoft OLAP cube technology and changes the programming landscape by enabling .NET developers to easily access SSAS cubes using .NET language integrated query interface - LINQ. Brand new in the OLAP world, SSAS Entity Framework Provider (tm) gives business intelligence projects agility and an unprecedented combination – the strength of SSAS in big data with a seamless integration into sophisticated .NET platform.

Cubes - red and OLAP

Agile Design LLC announces the immediate availability of SSAS Entity Framework Provider (tm) (patent pending). It enables .NET developers to take advantage of powerful SSAS tools in their business intelligence programming work, while using familiar and productive .NET environment, with only minor, occasional help from SSAS specialists. Moreover, it enables .NET programmers to work for large customers with high data volumes, like financial institutions.

Although .NET and SSAS OLAP could be integrated before by using ADOMD.NET + MDX, those technologies are quite often prohibitively expensive for many projects, because of MDX learning curve, cost of writing and maintaining type unsafe and not testable MDX queries, and additional mapping code required to marshal query parameters and results. Now .NET developers can use familiar, type safe, composable and testable LINQ to query SSAS multidimensional databases, and all marshaling happens automatically.

Microsoft OLAP - SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is a Microsoft technology to enable fast interactive reporting and data analysis for large customers with big data volumes.

While SSAS original query language MDX is powerful and feature rich, it is not integrated into .NET platform as seamlessly as LINQ, and the learning curve is very steep for this very technically demanding and sophisticated language. Companies often have to create separate dedicated business intelligence (BI) departments for SSAS and relational data warehouse development and maintenance. Such departments often tend to be overly expensive and slow to respond to changes compared to development of regular data centric .NET applications.

Skilled MDX specialists are still quite rare and difficult to find compared to skilled .NET developers, and rarely they have decent UI skills on top of that.

The exciting promise of SSAS Entity Framework Provider (tm) is that a single .NET developer can implement a feature from beginning to end, from UI to data access, which eliminates expensive coordination between BI and OO developers and is more in line with Agile methodology.
This will only expand the SSAS market, already valued at $1.8 billions in 2006 according to Nigel Pendse (2006) "OLAP Market".

With SSAS Entity Framework Provider (tm) (patent pending) .NET developers can use the same LINQ and Entity Framework programming interfaces that they use for relational databases. Some basic SSAS knowledge is still required to build and maintain SSAS cubes, but querying cubes from .NET code is not different from querying relational databases, and that takes away 80% of complexity and learning curve. .NET technologies that initially were not designed for easy integration with SSAS, like Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch, WCF Data Services, ASP.NET Dynamic Data, GrapeCity ActiveReports, DevExpress XtraReports and DxGrid will be able to utilize query speed of SSAS OLAP seamlessly, using LINQ and Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework.

Agile Design LLC has plans for other business intelligence products that will enable .NET developers to do all business intelligence from start to finish, using only familiar .NET tools and programming interfaces like LINQ and Entity Framework.

Agile Design LLC is an Agile software development company that pioneered LINQ to OLAP and a new streamlined dialect of LINQ suited for OLAP, analysis and reporting - LINQ Simple Dimensional eXtensions - SDX. Agile Design LLC specializes in a line of business and reporting applications, especially in financial and accounting domains, modern frameworks and libraries for reporting, business intelligence and data access, and in IT consulting services.

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Sergey Getmanets
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