Project Server Cube – Basic Information, Part Two
By: Collin Quiring
I know that this says it is part two, but, this is even more basic than the part one information. I should always “start at the beginning” (see my post about pre-project assumptions). But, I received this question which I had made the assumption was a commonly known fact already. The question was: What is a cube? So, here is that answer in relation to Project Server.
According to Microsoft, they are:
Portfolio Analyzer Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) cubes are a powerful reporting and analysis feature in Microsoft Office Project Web Access that enables you to perform complex analysis of project data. OLAP cubes contain task, resource, project, assignment, issues, risks, and commitments information that team members can readily browse by using PivotTable data and PivotChart views within the Portfolio Analyzer page.
Or, put more simply – they are a great way to slice and dice data. The system will process data on a schedule and put it together in such a way that we can have reporting information that would otherwise require large amounts of time for query building and processing time. Cubes are a one stop shop for data and can be used in other reports or exported to Excel.
A picture is worth a thousand words so I will use them to demonstrate. A simple cube organizes information in an easy to use way (like putting all the information about a specific Resource in one place):
But, sometimes we want that information in a bit more complex view:
Other times, we want to combine information from all over Project Server:
And, sometimes we just want a huge mish-mash of data in one place:
However we want to see the data, a cube is an efficient method to put it together. And, once built, the cubes can be used by other reporting tools and views within Project Server.
Artwork for last image found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sun_light_art/864227409/