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Performance Point Server Planning Dependency on SQL Server Enterprise Edition

Sorry about the catchy title, but I wanted to clarify why the planning component of Performance Point Server in turn depends on SQL Server Enterprise edition.

I pointed out in my recent TechNet presentations that Performance Point doesn’t make use of the cube write-back feature of analysis services, which is one of the extra features in enterprise edition. Well I have done some digging around and it does and doesn’t use cube write-back.

One of the main problems with cube write-back in SQL Server is that although the write -back itself is fast query performance degrades and more and more writes are done to the cube.  So Performance Point only uses write back to do what if analysis i.e. when changes are submitted to a model they are then written back to the database which then refreshes the cube.

To get this new plan data into the cube Performance Point uses another Enterprise only feature of analysis services, pro-active caching.  This is where the cube is automatically updated when the underlying data is changed.

So hopefully that clears up the confusion between what my good friend Ben Tamblyn and I have been saying about write-back.