data extaction from cube in SAS environment

Hi all,
    I work for a bank in a Marketing team. I have to build a data mart for their business and cubes based on that. they use SAS mostly to do their analysis. My plan is to build this kind of environment in sql sever 2000 environment in the begining and move it to sql server 2005 later in time. as there is lot of change from sql 2000 to sql 2005 i would like to allow myself sometime to learn the process of analysis services implementation in sql 2005.
      I can build the data mart and the cubes. But i dont know what client tools do normally users use to extract data from the cube. I can't put cube data on webpage as im not a front end developer. I dont think excel is that great in showing different grapical pattens like pie charts, bars etc.
     I would like to know in general how the data extracting from cube works in a SAS environment and how to report? how do end users extract the data from cube? please explain me how it works in both sql 2000 and sql 2005 environment

Thanks
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k_rasuriAsked:
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nmcdermaidCommented:
>> I dont think excel is that great in showing different grapical pattens like pie charts, bars etc

Are you sure about that? Excel is pretty much the tool that everyone I know uses to cook up graphs and things.

I'm sure your users would be more than happy to have data in Excel for starters.

If you don't have a lot of experience with AS in SQL 2000 then I suggest you go straight to SQL 2005. Its BI platform is much more fully featured and integrated. The migration process of cubes from SQL2000 to SQL2005 is also not foolproof. There are a lot of functions which don't exist between versions.
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TommyTupaCommented:

I would say the majority of users in Analysis Services environments use either Excel, ProClarity or Panorama. Some utilize reporting services and or sharepoint environments but I don't see many benefits .  You get a quick turnaround with Excel and  the users just end up exporting to excel anyways - doing their own charting from there.  So I'd start the users with Excel and  the  free OLAP add-ins from Microsoft. The process involves setting up your OLAP server and connecting Excel to the OLAP Server.  The add-in provides a menu for accessing one or more cubes.  Excel add-ins can also be purchased from http://www.xlcubed.com/ which give you greater ease and flexibility and mobility as you upgrade.    Later on you can  decide on ProClarity or Panorma products which provide a place for logically modelling and a web front-end thus providing greater versatility and aesthetics.

Here is a thread from google-groups explaining how to connect excel to your cube:
http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.sqlserver.programming/browse_frm/thread/cfee6e84ee7dff47/b5c11dc527be311a?lnk=st&q=Setting+up+server+olap&rnum=15&hl=en#b5c11dc527be311a

 
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telespanCommented:
Ensure that you have SAS Access to SQL Server licensed. Without that, you will not get SAS to be able to even read the data. If your chosen client into the SAS environment is Excel then you should also ensure that  the SAS Add-in for Microsoft Office is licensed. Then you can use any of the MS Office applications or even Internet Explorer to link to your cube.

If you want to know more about how to integrate SAS with other products, either look over http://www.sas.com/ or for more detailed technical support, visit http://support.sas.com/, where you will be amazed at how much information is available.
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