Here at Cube, we have been hard at work, deepening our support for the Microsoft ecosystem of data and analytics tools as part of our commitment to empowering developers to choose the tools they prefer on any platform they prefer. Microsoft offers an expansive set of tools that enterprises trust to power their operations, and Cube supports an ever-increasing list of these technologies. From cloud infrastructure in Microsoft Azure, to data warehousing capabilities in SQL Server and Synapse product lines, and finally, visualization with the popular Power BI product - Cube supports Microsoft technologies. However, there is always more that we can build, and today I am proud to highlight some of our recent work.

In speaking with our customers about how to better support their business intelligence initiatives, improved support for Microsoft Power BI is a common request. We have listened to your feedback and made wide-ranging improvements to our support for Power BI by improving our SQL-API. The Cube SQL-API is the heart of our ability to translate requests via SQL from most business intelligence tools into Cube’s internal query representation and then either answer those queries from cache, pre-aggregation, or proxy back to any of our data sources. We have dramatically expanded our coverage of possible types of queries that Power BI can issue to the SQL-API and will continue this work to ensure that Power BI works as users would expect when connected to Cube data sources. Power BI users can gain benefits of improved dashboard performance when connected to Cube accelerated sources. At the same time, data teams can reduce the complexity of managing data and improve consistency by defining data models once in a Cube semantic layer and reusing them across many Power BI dashboards and other visualization tools in mixed environments.

“We constantly invest in new functionality that improves the customer experience. Cube has allowed us to do it quickly and at significant cost savings,” said Todd Vaccaro, Product Manager at SecurityScorecard. “We’re now extending our use of the Cube platform to internal users who want actionable information. As Power BI users, we appreciate Cube’s support of Microsoft tools so we can rely on Power BI for the visualization layer while holding Cube as the underlying unifying semantic layer to manage all our data experiences in one place.”

We are happy to announce that our Semantic Layer Sync functionality for Power BI is available in Cube Cloud on the Enterprise tier; please contact sales to get a demo and learn more. We look forward to more user feedback.

Support for Microsoft Fabric

Fabric, the new flagship analytics platform from Microsoft, is now supported by Cube Cloud as a data source. With this integration, you can now create a data source connection to a Microsoft Fabric Data Warehouse or Lakehouse SQL Analytics endpoint and take advantage of all of the usual Cube Cloud functionality, such as our code-based data modeling and metrics definition experience, optional aggregate aware pre-aggregation and two-tiered caching, and our robust selection of API endpoints including SQL, GraphQL and REST. By combining Cube Cloud with Microsoft Fabric, users can easily connect this platform to any downstream visualization tool that supports Cube. To learn more, check out our Cube and Microsoft Fabric documentation here.

“With Cube’s semantic layer, we were able to improve and streamline our analytics offering for customers in just two weeks,” said Dhyan Shah, Sr Product Manager at RamSoft. “Now, with Cube support for Microsoft Fabric, we are well equipped to support our users with greater flexibility. The Cube platform is customizable and comprehensive — and now, even more compatible with our existing data stack.”

Cube Cloud seamlessly integrates with the Microsoft data and analytics ecosystem, providing a universal semantic layer to manage all your metrics, definitions, and access in one place.

cube and microsoft

Support for Microsoft Entra ID

Microsoft Entra ID, the cloud-based identity and access management solution formerly known as Azure Active Directory, is now supported by Cube Cloud. Enterprises using Cube Cloud can now offer their users a single sign-on experience utilizing their existing Entra ID identity provider, helping to streamline IT operations and improve roll-out times for semantic layer initiatives. Powerful, fine-grained access control schemes, including row-level and column-level security are made simple to implement with this integration. Enabling systems administrators to reuse existing security permissions from Microsoft Entra ID keeps things consistent and reduces the likelihood of misconfiguration.

Documentation for enabling SAML and configuring Microsoft Entra ID as an IdP in Cube can be found here.

Additionally, Cube Cloud now supports an expanded set of virtual network connectivity capabilities on Microsoft Azure, including VNet Peering and Azure PrivateLink. These features will help our customers maintain the security and privacy of their data in the cloud. These features will help our customers maintain the security and privacy of their data in the cloud. Documentation is available.

Cube Now Available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace!

As a software-as-a-service offering, Cube Cloud has provided users the capability to deploy on Microsoft Azure for a while now and we have seen strong adoption of this choice. I’m pleased to announce that Cube Cloud is now publicly available for purchase on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. The benefits to buyers of transacting via cloud marketplaces are well known, but in short, this will provide more flexibility to our customers and allow them to procure software in whichever way works the best for them. Cube Cloud, deployed on Microsoft Azure, can be purchased directly from Cube, or via the Azure Marketplace. Same great software, support and functionality, but more options for buyers.

Support for Direct Query in Microsoft Excel

With the MDX API in Cube Cloud, users can directly query their data with Microsoft Excel. Cube Cloud can replace the traditional OLAP cube technologies that enterprises may have lost access to if they’ve migrated their relational database technologies such as SQL Server, Oracle, or SAP HANA to more modern cloud data platforms such as Snowflake, or Databricks. In many situations after a cloud migration, users lose this baseline capability they had before to perform multidimensional analysis on modeled, secured, and well governed data because these modern data platforms don’t natively speak MDX as a language. Without this capability, Excel cannot perform this type of analysis in a direct connection, instead forcing users to deal with exported snapshots of data.

MDX allows Cube to act as the OLAP engine in the place of technologies like SQL Server Analysis Services, Oracle Essbase, SAP HANA, and others that maintain multidimensional data models and aggregated measures. Users point their Excel connection to Cube Cloud and enjoy all of the functionality they are used to.

However, we are not simply replacing direct connectivity to Excel. We are also modernizing multidimensional analysis by improving it in several ways. With our pre-aggregation and caching capabilities in Cube Store we can meet and exceed the performance characteristics of older OLAP cube technologies. With our code based data modeling experience we can bring these multidimensional models into a modern data engineering work flow including version control and code review. With our advanced data access controls, such as query rewrite capabilities, we enable Excel to query our long list of data sources live, if users choose to not use our pre-aggregations.

We look forward to getting these new features in the hands of our customers and continuing our journey as a committed Microsoft technology partner. If you are interested in learning more about the features mentioned above, please reach out and tell us how we can help you solve your data challenges.