For a long time, Microsoft has been helping their customers put data together from many different sources. Different data sources are mashed together to identify trends, provide insight into their business and predict customer buying patterns. Before Azure Analysis Services, you would typically do this through a service called SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), which ran on SQL server, traditionally on servers at your office.
Azure Analysis Services (AAS) turns SSAS into a platform that you can run in the Microsoft Azure cloud, and you don't have to worry about maintaining it. Because AAS runs on Azure’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Microsoft takes care of the software, security, upgrades, scaling and High Availability. All you need to do is deploy your data to it, and then you can share it in a secured way with many people inside and outside your organization—pretty much worry free.
Happy Customers = Happy Life
The best part of Azure Analysis Services is that it enables our customers to quickly spin up a server, scale it up for performance, or pause, all based on their needs.
You can take huge data sources through different areas, combine them all, and make the data available in the cloud, with full security. Now I can have my internal staff access the data or invite anyone else outside of my network to view the data. They don’t have to be behind a firewall, or have a VPN access to give them secure access to the data. Then they can put Excel or Power BI on top to create visualizations that easily allow them to identify trends, patterns and insights.
One of the coolest features of Azure Analysis Services is integration with Azure Active Directory. This feature allows you to securely invite anyone who has a Microsoft account or an organizational account with Office 365 to access your data.
But what we love the most is how easy it is to use. We can access data from any data source on-premises; it can be in SQL Server, Oracle, or the data can be coming from the cloud or external sources - the point being, it really doesn’t matter. We can consolidate the data, put the business rules in place, and now they have a consistent view of their data.
It’s clear Microsoft is serious about delivering on their promise for easier, more secure data access. Let’s see what they come up with next.
If you have questions about Azure Analysis Services or anything else, reach out—I’d love to hear from you (email@example.com).