Many people are looking for books about Analysis Services Tabular. Today there are two books available and they complement each other:
- Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model by Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari and Chris Webb
- Applied Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: Tabular Modeling by Teo Lachev
The book I wrote with Alberto and Chris is a complete guide to create tabular models and has a good coverage about DAX, including how to use it for enriching a semantic model with calculated columns and measures and how to use it for querying a Tabular model. In my experience, DAX as a query language is a very interesting option for custom analytical applications that requires a fast calculation engine, or simply for standard reports running in Reporting Services and accessing a Tabular model. You can freely preview the table of content and read some excerpts from the book on Safari Books Online. The book is in printing and should be shipped within mid-July, so finally it will be very soon on the shelf of all the people already preordered it!
The Teo Lachev’s book, covers the full spectrum of Tabular models provided by Microsoft: starting with self-service BI, you have users creating a model with PowerPivot for Excel, publishing it to PowerPivot for SharePoint and exploring data by using Power View; then, the PowerPivot for Excel model can be imported in a Tabular model and published in Analysis Services, adding more control on the model through row-level security and partitioning, for example. Teo’s book follows a step-by-step approach describing each feature that is very good for a beginner that is new to PowerPivot and/or to BISM Tabular. If you need to get the big picture and to start using the products that are part of the new Microsoft wave of BI products, the Teo’s book is for you.
After you read the book from Teo, or if you already have a certain confidence with PowerPivot or BISM Tabular and you want to go deeper about internals, best practices, design patterns in just BISM Tabular, then our book is a suggested read: it contains several chapters about DAX, includes discussions about new opportunities in data model design offered by Tabular models, and also provides examples of optimizations you can obtain in DAX and best practices in data modeling and queries.
It might seem strange that an author write a review of a book that might seem to compete with his one, but in reality these two books complement each other and are not alternatives. If you have any doubt, buy both: you will be not disappointed! Moreover, Amazon usually offers you a deal to buy three books, including the Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View, another good choice for getting all the details about Power View.