Get Ready to Be Perplexed and Bursting with Excitement: Adding Business Intelligence to Visual Studio 2017
As businesses try to handle vast amounts of data, they are increasingly relying on business intelligence (BI) tools to help them make better decisions. Visual Studio is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for building software applications that run on a variety of platforms. Luckily, Visual Studio 2017 boasts features that can help you integrate BI into your apps with convenience. In this pillar article, we’ll explain the steps required to add business intelligence to Visual Studio 2017 for making the most of its BI tools and powerful data visualization capabilities.
Step 1: Install the SQL Server Data Tools
The first step to using Visual Studio 2017 for BI development is to use the SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) extension. It’s a free extension that facilitates the creation, design, and deployment of SQL Server databases and BI solutions. The installation procedure is as follows:
- Open Visual Studio and click on the “Extensions” menu.
- Click the “Manage Extensions” option.
- Type “SQL Server Data Tools” in the “Search” textbox.
- Click the “Download” button and install the extension.
Step 2: Create a New BI Project
After installing SSDT, you can create a new BI project in Visual Studio. Here’s how:
- Click on the “File” menu and select “New Project.”
- In the “New Project” dialog box, choose “Business Intelligence,” then select “Analysis Services” from the list of templates.
- Provide a name and location for your project, then click “Create.”
Visual Studio will create a new project with all the necessary files and dependencies to develop a BI solution.
Step 3: Build Your Data Model
The next step is to build your data model. It involves creating a data source, connecting to it, and designing data sets that represent the data you want to analyze. Here’s how:
- Right-click on the “Data Sources” folder in the “Solution Explorer” window and select “New Data Source.”
- Select the type of data source you want to use, then click “Next.”
- Follow the prompts to establish a connection to your data source.
- Right-click on the “Data Source View” folder in the “Solution Explorer” window and select “New Data Source View.”
- Follow the prompts to create a view of your data source that includes only the relevant tables and columns you want to work with.
- Right-click on the “Dimensions” folder in the “Solution Explorer” window and select “New Dimension.”
- Follow the prompts to design a dimension for the data in your data source view.
Step 4: Create a Cube
Now that you have built your data model, the next step is to build a cube. A cube is a multidimensional data structure that allows you to perform complex analysis on your data. Here’s how:
- Right-click on the “Cubes” folder in the “Solution Explorer” window and select “New Cube.”
- Follow the prompts to pick the data source and data model you want to use for your cube.
- Define the measures and dimensions you want to include in your cube, then click “Finish.”
Step 5: Build Your Data Visualizations
With your cube created, you can now construct your data visualizations. Visual Studio 2017 presents a plethora of data visualization tools that allow you to create customized reports, graphs, and dashboards. Here’s how:
- Right-click on the “Reports” folder in the “Solution Explorer” window and select “New Report.”
- Follow the prompts to select the data source and data model you want to use for your report.
- Use the Report Designer tools to design your custom report layout and add data visualizations, such as charts, tables, and gauges.
Step 6: Deploy Your BI Solution
Finally, when you have created your data visualizations, the last step is to deploy your BI solution. Here’s what you need to do:
- Right-click on your project in the “Solution Explorer” window and select “Deploy.”
- Follow the prompts to set up the deployment choices, such as the name and location of the deployment server.
- Click “Deploy” to publish your BI solution to the deployment server.
By following these six steps, you can quickly add business intelligence to Visual Studio 2017 and capitalize on its powerful data visualization capabilities. With the right BI tools and methodologies at your fingertips, you can transform your data into useful insights that will help you make better decisions and gain a competitive advantage in today’s ever-changing business world.