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Connect to a Tabular Model Database (SSAS)

After you build a tabular model and deploy it to an Analysis Services tabular mode server, you need to set permissions that make it available to client applications. This topic explains how to permissions and how to connect to a database from client applications.

Note Note

By default, remote connections to Analysis Services are not available until you configure the firewall. Be sure that you have opened the appropriate port if you are configuring a named or default instance for client connections. For more information, see Configure the Windows Firewall to Allow Analysis Services Access.

This topic contains the following sections:

User permissions on the database

Administrative permissions on the server

Connecting from Excel or SharePoint

Troubleshooting Connection Problems

Users who connect to tabular databases must have membership in a database role that specifies Read access.

Roles, and sometimes role membership, are defined when a model is authored in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), or for deployed models, by using SQL Server Management Studio. For more information about creating roles by using Role Manager in SQL Server Data Tools, see Create and Manage Roles (SSAS Tabular). For more information about creating and managing roles for a deployed model, see Tabular Model Roles (SSAS Tabular).

Caution note Caution

Re-deploying a tabular model project with roles defined by using Role Manager in SQL Server Data Tools will overwrite roles defined in a deployed tabular model.

For organizations that use SharePoint for hosting Excel workbooks or Reporting Services reports, additional configuration is required to make tabular model data available to SharePoint users. If you are not using SharePoint, skip this section.

Viewing Excel workbooks or Power View reports that contain tabular data requires that the account used to run Excel Services or Reporting Services has administrator permissions on the Analysis Services instance. Administrative permissions are required so that these services are trusted by the Analysis Services instance.

Grant administrative access on the server

  1. In Central Administration, open the Configure service accounts page.

  2. Select the service application pool used by Excel Services. It might Service Application Pool – SharePoint Web Services System or a custom application pool. The managed account used by Excel Services will appear on the page.

    For SharePoint farms that include Reporting Services in SharePoint mode, get the account information for the Reporting Services service application as well.

    In the following steps, you will add these accounts to the Server role on the Analysis Services instance.

  3. In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the instance of Analysis Services, right-click the server instance, and select Properties. In Object Explorer, right-click Roles and select New Role.

  4. In the Analysis Services Properties page, click Security.

  5. Click Add, and then enter the account used by Excel Services, followed by the account used by Reporting Services.

Client libraries that provide access to Analysis Services databases can be used to connect to model databases that run on a tabular mode server. Libraries include the Analysis Services OLE DB provider, ADOMD.NET, and AMO.

Excel uses the OLE DB provider. If you have either MSOLAP.4 from SQL Server 2008 R2 (file name msolap100.dll, version 10.50.1600.1), or MSOLAP.5 (filename msolap110.dll) that is installed with the SQL Server 2012 version of PowerPivot for Excel, you have a version that will connect to tabular databases. Use the instructions provided in the following topic to check the version of the MSOLAP data provider on your computer: Upgrade PowerPivot for Excel.

Choose from the following approaches to connect to model databases from Excel:

  • Create a data connection from within Excel, using the instructions provided in the next section.

  • Create a BI semantic model connection (.bism) file in SharePoint that provides redirection to a database running on an Analysis Services tabular mode server. A BI semantic model connection file provides a right-click command that launches Excel using the model database that you specified in the connection. It will also launch Power View if Reporting Services is installed. For more information about creating and using BI semantic model connection files, see Create a BI Semantic Model Connection to a Tabular Model Database.

  • Create a Reporting Services shared data source that references a tabular database as the data source. You can create the shared data source in SharePoint and use it to launch Power View. For more information, see Create a Shared Data Source for a Data Model (SSRS).

Connect from Excel

  1. In Excel, on the Data tab, in Get External Data, click From Other Sources.

  2. Select From Analysis Services.

  3. In Server Name, specify the Analysis Services instance that hosts the database. The server name is often the name of the computer that runs the server software. If the server was installed as a named instance, you must specify the name in this format: <servername>\<instancename>.

    The server instance must be configured for standalone tabular deployment and the server instance must have an inbound rule that allows access to it. For more information, see Determine the Server Mode of an Analysis Services Instance and Configure the Windows Firewall to Allow Analysis Services Access.

  4. For log on credentials, choose Use Windows Authentication if you have read permissions to the database. Otherwise, choose Use the Following User Name and Password, and enter the username and password of a Windows account that has database permissions. Click Next.

  5. Select the database. A valid selection will show a single Model cube for the database. Click Next and then click Finish.

After the connection is established, you can use the data to create a PivotTable or PivotChart. For more information, see Analyze in Excel (SSAS Tabular).

If you are using PowerPivot for SharePoint, you can create a BI semantic model connection file in SharePoint that provides redirection to a database running on an Analysis Services tabular mode server. A BI semantic model connection provides an HTTP endpoint to a database. It also simplifies tabular model access for knowledge workers who routinely use documents on a SharePoint site. Knowledge workers only need to know the location of the BI semantic model connection file or its URL to access tabular model databases. Details about server location or database name are encapsulated in the BI semantic model connection. For more information about creating and using BI semantic model connection files, see PowerPivot BI Semantic Model Connection (.bism) and Create a BI Semantic Model Connection to a Tabular Model Database.

This section provides cause and resolution steps for problems that occur while connecting to a tabular model database.

The Data Connection Wizard cannot obtain a list of databases from the specified data source.

When importing data, this Microsoft Excel error occurs when you try to use the Wizard to connect to a tabular model database on a remote Analysis Services server, and you do not have sufficient permissions. To resolve this error, you must have user access rights on the database. Refer to the instructions provided earlier in this topic for granting user access to data.

An error occurred during an attempt to establish a connection to the external data source. The following connections failed to refresh: <model name> Sandbox

On SharePoint, this Microsoft Excel error occurs when you attempt data interaction, such as filtering data, in a PivotTable that uses model data. The error occurs because you do not have sufficient permissions on the remote Analysis Services server. To resolve this error, you must have user access rights on the database. Refer to the instructions provided earlier in this topic for granting user access to data.

An error occurred while attempting to perform this operation. Reload the workbook, and then try to perform this operation again.

On SharePoint, this Microsoft Excel error occurs when you attempt data interaction, such as filtering data, in a PivotTable that uses model data. The error occurs because Excel Services is not trusted by the Analysis Services instance on which the model data is deployed. To resolve this error, grant Excel Services administrative permission on the Analysis Services instance. Refer to the instructions provided earlier in this topic for granting administrator permissions. If the error persists, recycle the Excel Services application pool.

An error occurred during an attempt to establish a connection to the external data source used in the workbook

On SharePoint, this Microsoft Excel error occurs when you attempt data interaction, such as filtering data, in a PivotTable that uses model data. The error occurs because the user does not have sufficient SharePoint permissions on the workbook. The user must have Read permissions or above. View-Only permissions are not sufficient for data access.

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