PASS Summit kicked off general sessions today after two days of full day pre-conference sessions. The day one keynote anchored by Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President, Data Group at Microsoft, focused on aspects of Microsoft's data platform cornerstone: SQL Server as well as emerging enhancements through their R language integration, Intelligent Database Service (Hybrid Transaction and Analytics Processing or HTAP), SQL Server on Linux, and of course this year's release on SQL Server 2016. One of the most exciting announcements though involved Analysis Services.
Analysis Services in the Cloud
Analysis Services is coming to Microsoft's cloud solution platform. Branded as Azure Analysis Services, it is based on the proven analytical engine embedded within SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services. Customers can access disparate data sources across on-premises and the cloud, model the data, and provide business users with a simplified view of their data to enable interactive self-service BI and data discovery using their preferred data visualization tool.
Azure Analysis Services delivers enterprise class BI semantic data modeling capabilities allowing you to access hybrid and cloud data from anywhere. Just like the other Azure offerings from Microsoft you can pause or shut down services and thereby pay only for the resources you need to consume. You're still able to use Visual Studio and other familiar tools to develop solutions utilizing Azure Analysis Services without needing to learn new tools. Plus you're not needing to spin up and support the infrastructure supporting Analysis Services in Azure because the platform is managed for you.
Agnostic Access Using Visual Studio as an Example
Connecting to Azure Analysis Services or Analysis Services on premises from Visual Studio (as an example) requires no difference in configuration. Whether you utilize the URL for the Azure Analysis Services from the Microsoft Azure dashboard or the on premises server name for Analysis Services for the server address in Power BI Desktop you'll have the same results.
Upon general availability (or GA) you'll have the ability to spin up or spin down the resources should you have cyclical use/needs for your semantic models. You'll also have the ability to create dev/test environments for non-production environments only.
For more about Azure Analysis Services and access to the Azure Analysis Services preview please visit azure.microsoft.com.