Friday, 15 January 2010

SSAS: Vague Processing Errors About Connection Strings Are Not My Friend

Oh Visual Studio, you crazy cat, you! I've just spent the past hour or so going stark raving mad. courtesy of a DBA who's less than 'expert' and a teeny little Visual Studio property I neglected to set properly.

When deploying my Analysis Services database, the processing kept failing with a vague error along the lines of "connection string is invalid" and "login timeout". Now, I know there's nothing wrong with the connection string cos it works fine in VS, right? Wrong!

When deploying a cube to the Integration environment, my DBA told me that I couldn't just deploy it (outrageous suggestion), no I had to give them the project, they would deploy it, then I had to reimport it from the new environment into Visual Studio. WTF? Ok, I'll play. I'm new here after all so who am I to question their processes?

So when I later needed to redeploy some changes I'd since made, the DBA told me I had to do the same again. At this juncture, I put up a big red stop sign and start asking some questions. Turns out they do that so the Impersonation works correctly. Why wasn't it working as expected is the real question they neglected to ask and solve. Instead of fixing the problem, the treated a short-term workaround as the solution, and stopped there, purely because they didn't know any better.

Having rarely used impersonation before I didn't have an immediate answer. I've always just use the service account as my credentials because I'm lazy and frankly I can't really see why, on a DEV box mind you, you'd bother? Whatever, I don't care so much, if that's how they want to do it I'm easy.

So the problem is that after redeploying the project, it wouldn't reprocess. As I mentioned earlier, I was getting these vague errors about logins and connections. Turns out the solution was really freakin' simple.

See that little "Remove Passwords" property? Yeah that's the sucker. That cheeky tyke was set to TRUE. Set it to false and whaddya know? Everything works a treat.

Aaaah... Friday 4pm... and time for a brewskie.

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