Connecting to SSAS

Contents[Hide]

1. Overview

This article summarizes the different ways to connect to SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) and filter data by user.

2. Impersonation = None

This option is the default way to connect to SSAS. It involves passing the credentials as specified by the data connector directly to the SSAS server.

To illustrate this, create a new data connector from the main menu and give it a filename.

Set the Data Provider dropdown to Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services.

There are two options for the Windows Impersonation field. The Server option is applicable if the user account running the Dundas BI application pool in IIS has the appropriate access to the SSAS server. Otherwise, use the Specified option and enter the Windows domain credentials of a user that has access to SSAS.

New Data Connector dialog
New Data Connector dialog

Next, enter the SSAS Server Name and select the Database Name you want to connect to.

Leave the Impersonation field set to None. Click Submit to complete the data connector setup and start the initial discovery.

After a few seconds, go to Explore and locate your new data connector. Expand it to find a list of native OLAP cubes containing measures and hierarchies which you can drag directly to the dashboard canvas.

Visualize cube measures and dimensions
Visualize cube measures and dimensions

Every user who logs on and views dashboards based on this data connector is going to see the same data (because the same underlying Windows credentials are being used to connect to SSAS). So there is no real filtering by user possible with this option.

3. Impersonation = Effective Username

This option is designed to work in conjunction with Windows logon and Windows accounts in Dundas BI. The Windows username of the current Dundas BI user (e.g., a user viewing a dashboard) is passed to the SSAS server where it is assumed cube security for each Windows user has already been set up.

Technically, what happens is that the current Windows username is passed via the EffectiveUserName property of the SSAS connection string.

Follow these steps to use the effective username option:

  1. Set up security on the SSAS server for each Windows user.
  2. Make sure Windows logon is enabled in Dundas BI via the Log On Modes configuration setting.
  3. Add Windows accounts in Dundas BI.
  4. In the New Data Connector dialog, set Windows Impersonation to Specified and enter the domain credentials for a user which has admin rights on the SSAS server.
  5. Set the Impersonation field to Effective Username.

Connect using effective username impersonation
Connect using effective username impersonation

The effective username option is easy to set up and use because it leverages existing cube security.

4. Impersonation = Roles

This option uses roles in SSAS to define security in the cube. In Dundas BI, user groups are created which mirror the names of the roles in the cube. Users in Dundas BI get added to one or more user groups, thus linking them to roles in the cube.

Roles impersonation allows you to control access to cube data on a per-user basis. Users will see different data displayed on dashboards, for example, depending on the Dundas BI user group (and corresponding SSAS role) they belong to.

The advantage of this option is that it works with all Dundas BI account types and leverages existing roles defined in your cube.

See Using SSAS Roles Impersonation for details on using this option.

5. Custom Data and Custom Attributes

An alternative to roles impersonation is to use the Custom Data property of SSAS data connectors in conjunction with custom attributes to secure access to the data. This method requires only one role on the SSAS side and allows you to manage data security using just the Dundas BI admin interface. Custom attributes are name-value pairs of information which Dundas BI administrators can assign on a per-user account or per-group basis.

See Using custom data and custom attributes to filter SSAS data for details on setting up this option.

6. See also

 

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
500-250 Ferrand Drive
Toronto, ON, Canada
M3C 3G8

North America: 1.800.463.1492
International: 1.416.467.5100

Dundas Support Hours: 7am-6pm, ET, Mon-Fri