Analysis Services Deployment Methods

After you have completed the development of a Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services project, there are five possible deployment methods that can be used against an instance of Analysis Services. Each of the methods is listed here with links to supplemental information that is necessary to use the technique.

The Five Methods of Deployment

The five possible deployment methods are listed here in order of advantage: Analysis Management Objects (AMO) automation, XMLA scripts, the Analysis Services Deployment Wizard, Synchronize Wizard, backup and restore. AMO automation is the most flexible, and you can use SQL Server Agent with your AMO application to run deployment on some preset schedule. You can also run XMLA Scripts on a preset basis using SQL Server Agent, but you do not have the same flexibility with XMLA Scripts as with AMO. AMO provides a larger breadth of functionality by hosting the complete spectrum of administrative commands. With the Deployment Wizard, you can deploy directly from the Analysis Services file, as created by the output directory by project build. Backup and restore is not used as frequently as the other deployment methods, but is a way to quickly complete a deployment with minimal infrastructure requirements.

Deployment with AMO Automation

Analysis Management Objects (AMO) provides a programmatic interface to the complete command set for Analysis Services as available to the developer. Therefore, AMO can be used for deployment and also to the many administrative commands it otherwise supports. For more information about the user of AMO to automate any kind of administrative task, see Analysis Management Objects (AMO).

Deployment with XMLA Scripts

XMLA scripts are easily formed in SQL Server Management Studio by defining the deployment process, then codifying it and saving it in an XMLA script. Once you have the XMLA script in a saved file, you can easily run the script according to a schedule, or embed the script in an application that connects directly to an instance of Analysis Services. For more information about how to use XMLA scripts, see Using an ASSL Script.

Deployment Wizard

For dedicated deployment, the Analysis Services Deployment Wizard is very convenient Just as you can save an XMLA script for use later in SQL Server Management Studio you can save Deployment Wizard scripts. The Deployment Wizard can be run both interactively and at the command prompt. For more information about how to run the Deployment Wizard, see Running the Analysis Services Deployment Wizard. For general information about the Deployment Wizard, see Using the Analysis Services Deployment Wizard.

Deployment with the Synchronize Wizard

The Synchronize Wizard can be used to copy both data and metadata from a source server to a destination server. If the source server has the database copy that you want to deploy, copying the database copy to a destination server is straightforward. If the destination server already has a copy of the same database, it does not impact the synchronize operation and the database is updated. If there is no database, the new database is copied to the destination server. To learn how to synchronize an Analysis Services database, see How to: Synchronize an Analysis Services Database.

Deployment with Backup/Restore

Backup offers the simplest approach to transferring Analysis Services databases. From the Backup dialog box, you can set the options configuration, and then you can run the backup from the dialog box itself. Or, you can create a script that can be saved and run as frequently as required. For more information about using backup for database transfer, see Backup Options.