Today's post is about an elusive issue that was keeping us busy for a while.
When you process SSAS objects (database, cube, partition, dimension etc.) manually in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS), then you get a nice progress report window that shows you all processing stages:
However, sometimes you do not get any processing events, just the success message "process succeeded",
There's a variation of this problem in that it claims to be waiting on trace data (that never arrive): "Process succeeded. Trace information is still being transferred. If you do not want to wait for all the information to arrive press Stop."
We have never observed these issues on SSAS 2005, but confirmed occurences on SSAS 2008, SSAS 2008 R2 and even SSAS 2012. The issue is somewhat elusive because it only happens on certain machines, and even there usually on a random basis. The "Trace information is still being transferred" part of the problem can often (again not always) be removed by enabling "flight recorder". We had a few connect bugs filed for the problem area, but were never able to fix these issues completely. With more customers stumbling upon the issue and growing pain in customer support a thorough investigation of the problem was launched. As a result we found that all our issues were related to the asynchronous way that the SSMS/BIDS client connects to the session trace of the processing session.
This led to a number of potential timing problems ...
I'm pleased to announce that we know have a fix available that should address most (if not all) of the "missing process progress events" issues. At least it fixed the problem in all reproduction environments I had access to. Via changes in the AMO library we made sure that SSMS/BIDS clients now connect in a synchronous way, eliminating the timing problems.
This week we released the Fix as part of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CU9:
Cumulative update package 9 for SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 is available
which is accompanied by a proper KB article:
FIX: Empty or incomplete tree view is shown in the Process Progress window when you process an SSAS object in SSMS or BIDS in SQL Server 2008 R2
If everything goes according to schedule you can also expect it to be part of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 CU4 and SQL Server 2012 SP1.
So hopefully we won't hear about about missing process progress events anymore ...