Install sample data and multidimensional projects

Applies to: SQL Server Analysis Services Azure Analysis Services Power BI Premium

Use the instructions and links provided in this article to install the data and project files used in the Analysis Services tutorials.

Step 1: Install prerequisites

The lessons in this tutorial assume that you have the following software installed. You can install all of the features on a single computer. To install these features, run SQL Server Setup and select them from the Feature Selection page.

  • SQL Server Database Engine

  • SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)

    Analysis Services is available in these editions only: Evaluation, Enterprise, Business Intelligence, Standard. Multidimensional models are not supported in Azure Analysis Services.

    By default, Analysis Services 2016 and later is installed as a tabular instance. You can override the default mode by choosing Multidimensional Server Mode in the server configuration page of the Installation Wizard.

Step 2: Download and install developer and management tools

Visual Studio is downloaded and installed separately from other SQL Server features. The designers and project templates used to create models are included in the Analysis Services projects extension for Visual Studio. To learn more about installing supported Visual Studio versions and Analysis Services projects extension, see Analysis Services tools - Create and deploy models.

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is downloaded and installed separately from other SQL Server features.

Download SQL Server Management Studio

Optionally, consider installing Excel to browse your multidimensional data as you proceed through the tutorial. Installing Excel enables the Analyze in Excel feature that starts Excel using a PivotTable field list that is connected to the cube you are building. Using Excel to browse data is recommended because you can quickly build a pivot report that lets you interact with the data.

Alternatively, you can browse data using the built-in MDX query designer that is built into SQL Server Data Tools. The query designer returns the same data, except the data is presented as a flat rowset.

Step 3: Install databases

An Analysis Services multidimensional model uses transactional data that you import from a relational database management system. For the purposes of this tutorial, you use the following relational database as your data source.

  • AdventureWorksDW2019 - This is a relational data warehouse that runs on a Database Engine instance. It provides the original data used by the Analysis Services databases and projects that you build and deploy throughout the tutorial. The tutorial assumes you are using AdventureWorksDW2019, however, earlier versions do work.

    You can use this sample database with SQL Server 2019 and later. In-general, you should use the sample database version matching your database engine version.

To install the database, do the following:

  1. Download an AdventureWorksDW2019 database backup from GitHub.

  2. Copy the backup file to the backup directory of the local SQL Server Database Engine instance.

  3. Start SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the Database Engine instance.

  4. Restore the database.

Step 4: Grant database permissions

The sample projects use data source impersonation settings that specify the security context under which data is imported or processed. By default, the impersonation settings specify the Analysis Services service account for accessing the data. To use this default setting, you must ensure that the service account under which Analysis Services runs has data reader permissions on the AdventureWorksDW database.


For learning purposes, it is recommended that you use the default service account impersonation option and grant data reader permissions to the service account in SQL Server. Although other impersonation options are available, not all of them are suitable for processing operations. Specifically, the option for using the credentials of the current user is not supported for processing.

  1. Determine the service account. You can use SQL Server Configuration Manager or the Services console application to view account information. If you installed Analysis Services as the default instance, using the default account, the service is running as NT Service\MSSQLServerOLAPService.

  2. In Management Studio, connect to the database engine instance.

  3. Expand the Security folder, right-click Logins and select New Login.

  4. On the General page, in Login name, type NT Service\MSSQLServerOLAPService (or whatever account the service is running as).

  5. Click User Mapping.

  6. Select the checkbox next to the AdventureWorksDW database. Role membership should automatically include db_datareader and public. Click OK to accept the defaults.

Step 5: Install projects

The tutorial includes sample projects so that you can compare your results against a finished project, or start a lesson that is further on in the sequence.

  1. Download the from the Adventure Works for Analysis Services samples page on GitHub.

  2. Move the .zip file to a folder just below the root drive (for example, C:\Tutorial). This step mitigates the "Path too long" error that sometimes occurs if you attempt to unzip the files in the Downloads folder.

  3. Unzip the sample projects: right-click on the file and select Extract All. After extracting the files, you should have folders Lesson 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Complete and Lesson 4 Start.

  4. Remove the read-only permissions on these files. Right-click the parent folder, select Properties, and clear the checkbox for Read-only. Click OK. Apply the changes to this folder, subfolders, and files.

  5. Open the solution (.sln) file that corresponds to the lesson you are in. For example, in the folder named "Lesson 1 Complete", you would open the Analysis Services Tutorial.sln file.

  6. Deploy the solution to verify that database permissions and server location information are setup correctly.

    If Analysis Services and the Database Engine are installed as the default instance (MSSQLServer) and all software is running on the same computer, you can click Deploy Solution on the Build menu to build and deploy the sample project to the local Analysis Services instance. During deployment, data is processed (or imported) from the AdventureWorksDW database on the local Database Engine instance. A new Analysis Services database is created on the Analysis Services instance that contains the data retrieved from the Database Engine.

    If you encounter errors, review the previous steps on setting up database permissions. Additionally, you might also need to change server names. The default server name is localhost. If your servers are installed on remote computers or as named instances, you must override the default to use a server name that is valid for your installation. Furthermore, if the servers are on remote computers, you might need to configure Windows Firewall to allow access to the servers.

    The server name for connecting to the database engine is specified in the Data Source object of the multidimensional solution (Adventure Works Tutorial), visible in Solution Explorer.

    The server name for connecting to Analysis Services is specified in the Deployment tab of the Property Pages of the project, also visible in Solution Explorer.

  7. In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to Analysis Services. Verify the database named Analysis Services Tutorial is running on the server.

Next step

You are now ready to use the tutorial. For more information about how to get started, see Multidimensional Modeling (Adventure Works Tutorial).

See also

Configure the Windows Firewall to Allow Analysis Services Access
Configure the Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access