With the introduction of Microsoft's OLAP Services, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) technology has become a major force in today's marketplace. OLAP, which enables multidimensional databases for sophisticated decision support, is a technology that IT and database professionals need to know. Its a core technology of state-of-the-art customer management systems ; budgeting and forecasting models ; and sales, marketing, and financial performance analysis applications. Its also used in general-purpose "datamarts" that allow companies to monitor key business measures and discover the strategic opportunities they need to remain competitive in today's fast-paced e-commerce business environment. " A Practical Guide to Microsoft's OLAP Server " introduces you to OLAP technology and leads you step-by-step through the process of deploying an OLAP server, focusing in particular on Microsoft's OLAP Services. This book explains the basic concepts underlying OLAP, compares various OLAP products, and describes Microsoft's OLAP Services architecture. In addition, it enumerates the development life cycle of an OLAP Services application from planning and design through installation and administration, discussing the goals and approaches for each phase and task. " A Practical Guide to Microsoft's OLAP Server " also provides information on more advanced OLAP topics, including virtual cubes, merging database partitions, and custom OLAP development. Real-world examples demonstrate concepts and methods throughout the book, and plenty of practical advice will help you avoid trouble spots and achieve a smooth and successful deployment.