Methods for communicating with SSAS

SSAS uses XMLA as the primary communication protocol which is a SOAP based XML API.
You can use the SOAP protocol with web services and communicate with SSAS purely using XMLA. Doing this ensures platform independence since it does not rely on any platform specific provider libraries. However it can be quite cumbersome and not strictly appropriate for local client applications that have no requirement to work over the internet.

For this reason, the standard driver libraries for OLEDB and ADO.net which are used for communicating with traditional relational databases has been adopted into OLEDB for OLAP and ADOMD.net respectively for communicating with Analysis Services. As with the standard libraries, OLEDB for OLAP is an unmanaged library and ADOMD.net is managed by the .Net framework. These libraries essentially have been build as XMLA wrappers. They encapsulate the XMLA protocol within them and hides all the complexity of serializing and de-serializing to and from XML. They return data the same way the standard libraries return data, i.e. the OLEDB for OLAP returns standard RowSets whilst ADOMD.net returns ResultSets and RecordSets.

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