XML for Analysis Reference (XMLA)
Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services uses the XML for Analysis (XMLA) protocol to handle all communications between client applications, including SQL Server Management Studio and Business Intelligence Development Studio, and an instance of Analysis Services. To support the discovery and manipulation of data in both multidimensional and tabular formats, XMLA defines two generally accessible methods, Discover and Execute, and a collection of XML elements and data types. Because XML allows for a loosely coupled client and server architecture, both methods handle incoming and outgoing information in XML format. XMLA is optimized for the Internet, where roundtrips to an Analysis Services instance are expensive in terms of time and resources, and where stateful connections to the data limit user connections on the instance.
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