What is (SSAS) SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular Mode?
SQL Server 2012 ships Analysis Services that can be installed in the traditional OLAP engine or in the Tabular engine mode. Tabular mode is an in-memory database that compresses and queries the data with great performance. In most cases, you may find developing a Tabular mode project quicker to develop, deploy and test. Reporting tools can access the Tabular model just like they can a traditional OLAP cube. If you have users that rely on Pivot Tables in Excel loaded with data from extracts and data dumps. Analysis Services Tabular mode is a great solution to improve performance and ease access to their data.
Where to Begin in Tabular Models
You create a Tabular model by using the SQL Server Data Tools that ship with SQL Server. To create your first project select new project and then Analysis Services Tabular Project as shown in Figure 1. In this article I will highlight the most important icons to use when first learning how to build Tabular models.
If this is your first project you will also be prompted to select your Workspace Server as shown in Figure 2. This is the location of your SSAS Tabular engine that you want to connect with.
After connecting you should see the ribbons as seen in Figure 3. The icon with the red arrow is used to Import Data. I will go through the foundational icons and what they do in relation to building a Tabular model.
To begin your project click on the Import from Data Source and follow the wizard to connect to your data source.
After you have a connection to a data source use the Existing connection table to review and modify your models data information.
To setup security on the data use the role icon as shown below.
These are the most commonly used items when first developing a Tabular model.
For full documentation on SSAS Tabular services see Technet : Tabular