AS2000 magics: working without repository

Today I discovered that you can have a working AS2000 database without repository data relative to structure internals to that database (cubes and dimensions).

Just to explain how it works.

  • You have a “Foodmart 2000” database
  • Into the Olap Data directory, you create a “Foodmart Copy” directory
  • In Analysis Manager, create a database “Foodmart Copy”
  • Stop Analysis Services service
  • Into Olap Data directory, copy “Foodmart 2000” content into “Foodmart Copy” directory
  • Start Analysis Services service
  • From an olap client (like Excel) you can navigate all cubes into “Foodmart Copy” as you were in “Foodmart 2000”
  • From Analysis Manager, you see that “Foodmart Copy” is an empty database (it has no metadata in repository)

I know at least one customer who currently use this “undocumented feature” (can we say that?) to support the distribution of a processed database so queries scale on a multi-server architecture. If they update the “master” database changing some metadata, adding a level to a dimension or a measure to a cube, the distribution is a simpe XCOPY deployment.

I didn’t know that AS2000 is able to query a processed cube even without metadata…