Microsoft introduced a cool feature in Excel 2007 called Offline OLAP that enables you to work with an Analysis Services Cube in disconnected mode. The Offline OLAP feature basically snapshots a version of the cube into a local cube file which can be used by Pivot Tables.
Some potential scenarios where the offline cube file can be really helpful:
- Proof of concept demos to client can be done using the local cube file without having to worry about the network bandwidth, access and unfamiliar environments.
- Accessing your reports while commuting or in places where internet facility is not available.
- Snapshoting the stable version of cube during development phase especially when certain development activities can potentially bring down the cube.
Creating Offline Cube File
To create the Offline Cube file, click on you Pivot Table and navigate to PivotTableTool>>Options>>OLAP Tools>>Offline OLAP (shown in Figure 1)
A wizard pops up. Click Create Offline Data File button (shown in Figure 2).
The subsequent wizard steps allow you to select the dimension attributes, members, hierarchies, measures and calculated measures. By default the cube members used in the PivotTable is selected. (Figures 3 and 4) .