How to use Partition Processing Destination Task to pump data into a SSAS partition via SSIS

To load and process the data into Analysis Services, SQL Integration Services provides two data flow components: Partition Processing Destination and Dimension Processing Destination. However, I found very few users know how to use them or use them correctly.  Some said the features look nice but can’t find any good example to follow. That makes many users stay away from using the features.

This blog, I am to going to write an example to show how to use Partition Processing Destination. In general, the same concept can be applied in Dimension Processing Destination as well. The whole example is based on the sample data set Adventure Works DW 2008.

Our example scenario:  To pump the data from a relational table directly to partition [Reseller_Orders_2001] under [Reseller Orders] measure group in Adventure Works DW

The source SQL (is taken from the partition properties):

    SELECT [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[ProductKey],[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[OrderDateKey],


[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[ResellerKey], [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[EmployeeKey],










FROM [dbo].[FactResellerSales]

WHERE OrderDateKey <= '20011231'



1. Draft a “Data Flow Task” on to the Control Flow tab.

2. Double click the Data Flow Task to open Data Flow tab.

3. Create a OLE DB Source pointing to your Adventure Works DW 2008 relational database

4. Select “SQL Command” for access method

5. Copy and paste the SQL statement above into the dialog box

6. Close it

7. Drag the “Partition Processing Destination” Task over

8. Connect the data flow task from OLE DB source to Partition Processing task.

9. Create a data source within the destination task to point to your SSAS server.

10. Select the partition [Reseller_Orders_2001] under [Reseller Orders] measure group.

11. Select one of the processing methods. In this example, we pick Full processing

12. Map the input columns with the partition attributes (see screen shot #1)

13. At the end, we will find we don’t have any columns that can map to Geograph.Geography Key and Reseller Order Count. If we leave them unmapped (<ignore>, any attempt to execute the task, the following error is seen:

Error "Pipeline processing can only reference a single table in the data source view"

The error message itself is indeed little unclear and little misleading.

The point is: we can’t leave any attributes unmapped even the UI allows us to select <ignore> in the field but it does not mean the columns are ok to ignore.

Screen shot #1


Then, why we don’t have a column for Geography.Geography Key and Reseller Order Count.  It is because is Geography is a referenced dimension. It does not link to the fact table directly. Reseller Order Count is a distinct count measure base on SalesOrderNumber but the column is used already in mapping to Reseller Sales Order Details.Reseller Sales Order.Key(0). The UI does not allow mapping a single column to two different attributes.

We need to do something here to work around the limitations:

1. For referenced dimension key “Geography.Geography Key”, we extend the query input include the relevant column. PLUS uncheck the materialize checkbox of the referenced dimensions, it will work around this limitation (see screen shot #2 below)

2. For Reseller Order Count, we select the same column twice but give them a different column alias.

Remark: The "materialize" is a performance feature targeting for reference dimension.  Unchecking the materialize checkbox may impact the cube query performance. You can learn more about this feature in the section of "Reference relationships" in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Performance Guide.


Screen shot #2


We rewrite the SQL statement base on the workaround above into following: 




[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[SalesOrderNumber] as resellerordercount,



[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[ResellerKey], dbo].[FactResellerSales].[EmployeeKey],

[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[PromotionKey],[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[CurrencyKey], [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[SalesTerritoryKey],

[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[SalesOrderNumber],     [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[SalesOrderLineNumber],

[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[RevisionNumber],      [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[OrderQuantity],[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[UnitPrice],      [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[ExtendedAmount],

[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[UnitPriceDiscountPct],      [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[DiscountAmount],

[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[ProductStandardCost],      [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[TotalProductCost],[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[SalesAmount],

[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[TaxAmt],[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[Freight],      [dbo].[FactResellerSales].[CarrierTrackingNumber],[dbo].[FactResellerSales].[CustomerPONumber]

FROM [dbo].[FactResellerSales], DimReseller, DimGeography


       FactResellerSales.ResellerKey=DimReseller.ResellerKey and        DimReseller.GeographyKey=DimGeography.GeographyKey and

      OrderDateKey <= '20011231'


We replace the query in step #5 with this new SQL and then remap all the columns again (see screen shot #3)

Screen shot #3


Now, the task will pump the data directly from the source into the target partition.

C S John Lam | Premier Field Engineer - SQL Analysis Services

Comments (5)
  1. Christianb_7 says:


    Firstly, thankyou for the useful post.

    I am trying to do something similar to this, but finding a little complicated in working out how to set the partition dynamically. Do you know of any methods to do this?



  2. csjlam says:

    At present, the SSAS task in SSIS does not support any changes in partition name during run time.

  3. Christianb_7 says:

    Do you know if it would be possible to extend the PartitionProcessing Component to expose the ObjectRef property?  I imagine if that can be done then it would be possible to set it.

    Or am I missing something more fundemental in SSIS not allowing it to be set?

  4. Here are some other articles on SSAS Processing:…/Articles

  5. rupal says:


    Does the cube need to be processed (by SSAS) with some data (1 partition) before using SSIS partitioning task? Utilimately, I do not want to use SSAS at all for processing my cube (maybe just the dims). Instead I would like to use high-speed connectors available in SSIS to do the data pumping to my cube.


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