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Reporting Options in Office 2000

In previous articles in this series, we ventured beyond using Excel PivotTable reports to retrieve and display information from an OLAP cube. We introduced the Office PivotTable list as an alternative and often more seamless means of integrating Office 2000 with MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services. We explored the basic navigation of the Office PivotTable list, and practiced creating a PivotTable list in two main ways: by publishing an existing Excel PivotTable report as a web page to create a PivotTable list, and ("from scratch") by using the design environment of another Microsoft Office 2000 application: FrontPage 2000.

We discussed many of the similarities and differences between the Excel PivotTable report and the Office PivotTable list, while focusing our examples on designing a PivotTable list to provide flexibility in information delivery to meet business needs. Finally, we exposed various options available to the PivotTable list designer to control the capabilities afforded to the information consumer, specifically through placing restrictive setpoints from within the design mode, and enforcing those setpoints in the browser through which the information consumers access the PivotTable list.

In this tutorial, we look beyond these topics to introduce the creation and use of local cubes with Office 2000. We'll give an overview of the concepts involved with our topic and then immediately delve into the practical aspects involved in putting the functionality to work. We'll use the PivotTable fundamentals we have practiced to develop new ways to deliver information with Office 2000 components: We'll first create a local cube from an existing Excel PivotTable report; then we'll explore a more design-oriented route by using the OLAP Cube Wizard to accomplish cube creation in a more flexible manner.

In this lesson, we accomplish the following objectives:

  • Introduce local cubes, discussing how they differ from server cubes and the scenarios in which they are appropriate

  • Create a local cube from an existing server cube

  • Create a local cube from a relational source

  • Discuss design and deployment considerations, and the value that local cubes can provide the organization as development prototypes and remote production data sources

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