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How to install Tabular Mode Service in SSAS 2012


SSAS 2012 provides three different approaches for creating a business intelligence semantic model: tabular, multidimensional, and PowerPivot.

Tabular solutions use relational modeling constructs such as tables and relationships for modeling data, and the xVelocity in-memory analytics engine for storing and calculating data.

Multidimensional and data mining solutions use OLAP modeling constructs (cubes and dimensions) and MOLAP, ROLAP, or HOLAP storage.

PowerPivot is a self-service BI solution that lets business analysts build an analytical data model inside an Excel workbook using the PowerPivot for Excel add-in.

Tabular and multidimensional solutions are built using SSDT and are intended for corporate BI projects that run on a standalone Analysis Services instance. Yet each solution differs in how they are created, used, and deployed.


Since multidimensional mode is the default one, maybe some developers would install the whole SQL server 2012 without knowing the existence of tabular mode because of using SQL server 2008 R2 before. After that when they want to create a tabular mode project using SSDT, the SSDT can’t find the existence of tabular service (see the pictures). Then you must install the tabular mode service. But how?



Actually, Analysis Services is a multi-instance feature, which means that you can install more than one instance Analysis Services on a single computer. Using other modes requires that you install additional instances of the server. So it is just like install another Database Engine instance of the server.

Here are the critical steps to install another tabular mode service instance if you have installed the whole SQL server 2012:

Step 1. Double-click Setup.exe, The Installation Wizard runs the SQL Server Installation Center.  Click Installation in the left-hand navigation area, and then click New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.


Step 2. Keep clicking ok or next to the Installation Type page, select Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2012.

Step 3. On the Setup Role page, select SQL Server Feature Installation

Step 4. On the Feature Selection page, select Analysis Services, you can see the other components are already installed.


Step 5. On the Instance Configuration page, select named instance, since a default instance is already installed on the computer. By default, the instance name is used as the Instance ID.  You can leave the Instance root directory by default , or click Browse to locate an installation folder. The installed instances grid shows instances of SQL Server that are on the computer where Setup is running.


Step 6. Use the Analysis Services Configuration – that’s the most critical page in this article. Account Provisioning page is to specify the server mode, remember to choose the Tabular Mode .  Then you must select the users or accounts that will have administrator permissions for Analysis Services. Leave the Data Directories by default.


Step 7. Keep clicking next to the Install page, click Install . To complete this Installation Wizard.


  1. After installing successfully, you can see this tabular mode instance in the SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  2. Also now you can create the tabular mode project.
  3. You can compare the multidimensional mode instance to the tabular instance in the SSMS.




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