MicroStrategy Basics - Get Started

What is MicroStrategy?

A Business Intelligence software providing integrated reporting, analysis and monitoring on web and mobile, that helps the Decision Support System of an organization. MicroStrategy is a leading Business Intelligence tool which existing independently by itself (for now).
 
Technically: A business intelligence tool with a ROLAP engine which could connect to any (or most) database(s). MicroStrategy is an object oriented  model with an attractive and an easy to use graphical user interface for developers and end users.
 
Basics of MicroStrategy
Microstrategy is an object oriented software, which provides an interface to build reports and dashboards against standard RDMS or cubes. Users will be able to access MicroStrategy reports and dashboards via browsers, mobile (native app) and email in various formats.
 
Core MicroStrategy Components:
  1. Intelligence Server.
  2. Web and Mobile Server.
  3. MicroStrategy Desktop (client used to connect to MicroStrategy).
  4. MicroStrategy metadata (database).
 
MicroStrategy Architecture
mstr_basic_arch.jpg
 
Intelligence Server: MicroStrategy Intelligent server provides jobs management and analytical processing for all MicroStrategy applications. This acts as a central component connecting the metadata, warehouse, desktop, Web server and Narrow cast Server. Few or main features: Reports Services, OLAP Services, Data Mining, Multi Source connection, Caching, Clustering. Latest version supports installing I-server (different packages) on Windows, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX, Linux.
 
Web Server: MicroStrategy web server responds to the requests from browsers. Web server interacts with the I-server to extract the necessary information. Can be installed on most of the major web servers and supports most popular browsers. Contact MicroStrategy for certified products.
 
Narrow cast Server: Narrowcast sever delivers personalized business insight to emails, cell phones, pagers, file servers and print servers extending the reach of Business Intelligence applications. It offers a comprehensive solution for information delivery integrating a subscription portal with a delivery engine.
 
Metadata: The database repository where definitions of all MicroStrategy objects are stored. Metadata could be hosted on most databases. In simple words, Metadata could be considered as the heart of MicroStrategy environment. Cases where Metadata is directly connected to desktop (client) eliminating I-server is a 2-tier mode connection (refer to the above picture).
 
Desktop: MicroStrategy Desktop is a client used to interact with the Server.
 
Types Of Objects (at a high level):
Configuration Objects: Configuration objects are MicroStrategy objects which can be re used in multiple projects and they appear in the system layer.
Schema Objects: The building block of BI. Schema objects are directly mapped to a column or columns in the database.
Public Objects: Objects that generate analytical data and are built on other schema objects or public objects. Also called as application objects.
 
Types Of Configuration: Objects:
Database Instances, Users, Login ID's, Schedules.
Types Of Schema Objects:
Attributes, Facts, Functions & Operators, Hierarchies, Partition Mappings, Tables & Transformations.
Types Of Public Objects (frequently used):
Consolidation, Custom Groups, Drill Maps, Reports, Documents, Filters, Prompts, Metrics, Templates and Searches
 
MicroStrategy Roles
Administrator: By default, the role/person will have full access to the environment. In other words this role has full access to all the type of objects mentioned above.
Architect: By default, access to configuration objects is restricted.
Developer: By default, no access to configuration objects, use access to schema objects and full access to public objects.
 
For more information, please refer MicroStrategy product manuals.