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Tabular security white paper published

May 10, 2012

Microsoft published the second of two white papers I wrote on the tabular model. This one is called Securing the Tabular BI Semantic Model. You can download the samples for the whitepaper from http://securitytabularbi.codeplex.com/.

When I signed up to write the two white papers (this one and DirectQuery), I thought this one would be the easier of the two to write. After all, the basic concepts of the security model can be summarized in a blog post, and there’s even a tutorial on MSDN on how to implement dynamic security. Easy, right? Wrong!

Turns out, the examples were incredibly difficult to write. Even though there is already an example for dynamic security, the LOOKUPVALUE() function used in the example to implement dynamic security does not perform very well. The dynamic security examples in the white paper use different mechanisms to implement the dynamic row filters. I won’t spoil the surprise, download the white paper and see for yourself.

Also, using row security with hierarchies is really hard. It is so hard that I couldn’t even fit everything I learned about using row security with hierarchies into the white paper. Over the next little while I will publish some supplemental blog posts with my findings.

I talk a bit in there about security designs, when to use Kerberos, etc. Not included is how to configure Kerberos for use with Analysis Services. If you need to do that, check out blog posts for previous releases, such as this Kerberos configuration guide and this Kerberos configuration checklist. Also not included in the paper is a discussion of security and DirectQuery, go read the DirectQuery white paper if you need to learn about that.

Again, hope you like the paper. Send your feedback to me or Microsoft. Watch this space for leftovers spilling over from the white paper.

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