Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 includes several components you can use to build data warehouses that effectively support your decision support processing needs.
Data Warehousing Framework
The Data Warehousing Framework is a set of components and APIs that implement the data warehousing features of SQL Server 2000. It provides a common interface to be used by various components seeking to build and use a data warehouse or data mart.
Data Transformation Services
Data Transformation Services (DTS) provides a set of services used to build a data warehouse or data mart. Decision support systems analyze data to find trends of interest to the database users. Online transaction processing databases store large numbers of records covering the details of each transaction, and online analytical processing (OLAP) systems aggregate and summarize the information to speed analysis of the trends exhibited in the data.
DTS offers support for extracting data from heterogeneous OLE DB data sources and the summarizing or aggregating of data to build a data warehouse.
Online Analytical Processing Support
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services allows you to build flexible, powerful business intelligence applications for Web sites and large enterprise systems.
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services provides OLAP processing capabilities against heterogeneous OLE DB data sources. It has efficient algorithms for defining and building multidimensional cubes that can be referenced by applications using the OLE DB 2.0 OLAP extensions or the Microsoft ActiveX® Data Objects Multidimensional extensions. Analysis Services is an excellent tool for multidimensional analysis of data in SQL Server 2000 databases.
Analysis Services supports multidimensional queries against cubes with hundreds of millions of dimensions. You can control cube security down to the level of cells and members. You can create custom rollup functions that tailor the types of aggregations and processing that can be performed in multidimensional cubes.
Data Mining Support
Data mining allows you to define models containing grouping and predictive rules that can be applied to data in either a relational database or multi-dimensional OLAP cubes. These predictive models are then used to automatically perform sophisticated analysis of the data to find trends that help you identify new opportunities and chose the ones that have a winning outcome. SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services includes support for data mining models, including API support of the OLE DB for Data Mining specification. Through the OLE DB for Data Mining API, Analysis Services supports integration with third-party data mining providers.
English Query makes a definition of the entities and relationships defined in a SQL Server 2000 database. Given this definition, an application can use an Automation API to pass English Query a string containing a natural-language question about the data in the database. English Query returns a SQL statement that the application can use to extract the necessary data.
Meta Data Services
SQL Server 2000 includes Microsoft Meta Data Services, which consists of a set of Microsoft ActiveX® interfaces and information models that define database schema and data transformations as defined by the Microsoft Data Warehousing Framework. A goal of the Microsoft Data Warehousing Framework is to provide meaningful integration of multiple products through shared meta data. It combines business and technical meta data to provide an industry standard method for storing the schema of production data sources and destinations.
Meta Data Services is the preferred means of storing DTS packages in a data warehousing scenario because it is the only method of providing data lineage for packages. DTS also uses Meta Data Services storage to allow transformations, queries, and ActiveX scripts to be reused by heterogeneous applications.