Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Snowflake.net?
Snowflake.net is a 100% managed asp.net server side control that provides access to OLAP and Relational Databases through XML for Analysis.
Q: Why use open XML/A versus proprietary OLAP or OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO)?
You should use XML/A because it is:
Q: How does Snowflake.net compare to other products?
Snowflake.net is the only asp.net control that provides access to XML/A (XML for Analysis) and integrates directly into Visual Studio. Snowflake.net is extremely easy to use both for the developer and for the end user. Developer has very fine-grained control over the behavior of the control through rich property and event set and the developer can therefore tailor the control for the novice and experienced OLAP users. The feature set exposed by Snowflake.net control is commonly found only in very expensive analytical reporting environments yet Snowflake.net costs only $999 for a single server license.
Q: How stable is Snowflake.net?
Snowflake.net has been around for a long time (in software terms). Actually Snowflake.net 1.0 was released in May 2002, which can be considered the early dawn days of XML/A (XML for Analysis). Our process of incremental releases and source licensing helps increase the quality of the product and we have had no stability issues at any point in time.
Q: Why does Snowflake.net cost much less than reporting tools from large analytics vendors?
Would you buy it if cost more :)
Q: What are the requirements to install the Snowflake.net control?
A: To install the Snowflake.net control one needs to satisfy following requirements:
1. ASP.Net Server requirements:
2. Client browser requirements:
3. Web application requirements:
4. Developer requirements:
5. And of course Snowflake.net installation package.
Q: Where can I find the Snowflake.net installation package?
You can find installation package (SnowflakeNet.msi) at ftp://ftp.intellimerce.com.
Q: Where can I find Snowflake.net tutorials or samples?
A: Please send us an email at email@example.com for the sample applications.
Q: Where I can find Snowflake.net demo?
A: Please check out our demo at http://www.intellimerce.com/demo.asp
To get the source code for the demo please send and an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Where can I download a printable copy of manuals or installation guides for Snowflake.net product?
A: There is no installation guide for Snowflake.net. Snowflake.net install is a standard msi install package. You can obtain the developer guide by sending an email to email@example.com.
Q: Where do I find Snowflake.net development roadmap?
Please request the development roadmap by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Q: How do I purchase Snowflake.net?
You can purchase individual server licenses online and we will send you the license files for your server the same day. For enterprise license purchases please send us a request at email@example.com and we will invoice you and go through the regular purchasing process.
Q: Where do I send feedback regarding the Snowflake. net product and documentation for it?
A: Any feedback is appreciated for helping us in improving Snowflake.net control.
Q: Why call a product Snowflake.net?
Well, we do come from the far North. It also turns out that Snowflake is a common schema in implementation of multi-dimensional data warehouses. And the .net extension is there because Snowflake.net is used with asp.net.
Q: What are the licensing options for Snowflake.net?
A: There are 2 licensing options:
• Per server/developer licensing – for each production server or developer, whatever number is greater, you require one license.
• Enterprise licensing – company wide enterprise license, unlimited number of developers, servers, CPUs per server.
Q: Can I use Snowflake.net single server license to serve an external web site?
Yes you can. You can serve as many users as your machine can support.
Q: Is Snowflake.net source available?
Snowflake.net source is available under Intellimerce source license for enterprise licensees. Intellimerce source license does not qualify as an open source license because it does not permit free redistribution of the product or the source. However, Intellimerce source license does provide most of the benefits of the open source license because it allows the licensee to modify source and implement such solution within the licensee organization. In addition all of the benefits of the open source development cycle are active with Intellimerce source license but on smaller scale due to smaller number of participants.
Q: Why did you not release Snowflake.net under GPL?
We did not release Snowflake.net under GPL because we are a business that tries to make a living from our software product. We don’t yet see the means of earning sufficient moneys to support our product development with pure open source cycle. Snowflake.net is a product typically used in larger size businesses that require commercial support and full IPR guarantee, which we can do with our licensing scheme. On the other hand we understand the benefits of open source model, which is why we share the source with our licensees. We deserve the right to GPL our product at any point in time.
Q: How does the Snowflake.net development cycle work?
Existing and potential customers request most of the Snowflake.net features. The features are reviewed, allocated to appropriate release and implemented by Snowflake.net developers. We perform the rigorous testing and release the code to our Intellimerce source licensees for review. Our enterprise licensees contribute to the development of Snowflake.net by submitting features that they have developed and wish to share with the community as well as by reviewing the Snowflake.net early source releases. Snowflake.net is released once we feel that sufficient review has been performed.
Q: How do I implement Snowflake.net license?
A: For the proper license you will need the SnowflakeControl.lic file that is specific to your machine (we provide license for 3 machines assuming you have your development environment setup based on dev, qa and production stages). You need to place the SnowflakeControl.lic file into the licenses subdirectory of your web application that uses Snowflake.net.
Q: How long can I use the evaluation license?
A: Evaluation licenses allow you to perform up to 15 roundtrips to the server using Snowflake.net after which the invalid license message is displayed. You can restart the process by restarting the browser. Should you wish to use Snowflake.net you will require a valid Snowflake.net license.
OEM and Partnership Information
Q: Do you provide OEM licenses?
Yes we do provide OEM licensing. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Q: Is there a Snowflake.net partnership program?
Yes there is a Snowflake.net partnership program. Requirements for joining are commitment to participate in Snowflake.net development community and proven ability to deliver OLAP solutions that include Snowflake.net. We offer many incentives for our partners including sales and development support and training.
How to use Snowflake. net control
Q: What are the abilities/features of the Snowflake analytical asp.net control?
A: Snowflake.net provides developers with unprecedented power in an asp.net xmla control with features such as:
Q: What are the new features in Snowflake.net 3.0?
A: Some of the new features in version 3.0 are:
Q: What are the new features in Snowflake.net 2.8?
A: Some of the new features in version 2.8 are:
Q: What makes up the Snowflake.net package?
A: The following are included in the Snowflake.net package:
SFChart.dll – Snowflake.net charting subcomponent
SnowflakeControl.dll – Snowflake.net main component
Snowflake.net Developer Guide – pdf and online help
License file for your machine or evaluation license
Q: How can I create a simple web page that will utilize the Snowflake.net control to display XML for Analysis results (OLAP & relational information)?
A: To create a new ASP.net Web Application in the Visual Studio Developer follow the steps:
Q: How can I add the control to the WebForm1.asp web form?
A: There are two steps in adding the control to the WebForm1.asp web form:
You can add control to the toolbox in the components section - Expand the toolbox by hovering the mouse over it, right mouse button click in the toolbox panel and select the Customize Toolbox option.
You can add references to com and .net components in the toolbox - Click on the Browse button in the .net frameworks tab and select the SnowflakeControl.dll from the location where you have installed the Snowflake.net control.
Drag and drop the Snowflake control from the Toolbox->Controls to the WebForm1.aspx page in the design mode.
Q: What do I have to complete before using the page?
A: The Snowflake.net control design component displays the list of outstanding tasks that you have to complete before the page is ready for use. You need to go through the following tasks:
Occasionally, users encounter problems during installation. Here are some troubleshooting tips you can use that may resolve the problem. If you have further questions, please contact Intellimerce Inc. Supportat email@example.com
Q: How can I access your server’s XMLA if I don’t have XMLA provider setup?
A: If you do not have an existing XMLA provider setup (there are instructions on how to setup the Microsoft XMLA SDK in the developer guide), you can access XMLA running on our servers on a temporary basis by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that this server is only for brief testing purposes. You should not rely on it for your demos.
Q: I am getting the "Datasource not found" message but I have the datasources.xml set up properly. What is going on?
A: Starting from version 2.6 Snowflake.net connects to XMLA 1.1 providers such as XMLA 1.1 SDK from Microsoft. There were breaking changes in the wsdl for 1.1 and hence the 1.0 is no longer supported. Please verify that you are using XMLA 1.1 and if not install 1.1 version. Note that Microsoft XMLA 1.1 SDK installs over the 1.0, i.e. you can't have 1.0 and 1.1 on the same machine.
Q: Why does the sample application displays message: “A valid Snowflake license cannot be granted !”?
A: The license file, SnowflakeControl.lic is provided from Intellimerce Inc. support personal as part of the evaluation or sale process. License file must be placed in the licenses subdirectory of the web application otherwise invalid license message will be displayed.
Why am I not able to drill through using the OLAP control?
Possible reasons that you are unable to drill through using the OLAP control are:
1. The cube is not drill-through enabled: please use the Analysis Manager to enable the drill through option of the cube.
2. Calculated member: Calculated member is not available for drill through.
3. If the property value of the OLAP control’s AllowDrillthrough property is false, the OLAP control will not allow drill through.
4. You might have not setup the drill-through properly on the SQL Server. Please check the developer guide for detailed instructions on how to do this but in short you have to give rights for drill-through on the cube level.
Why can’t I see the charts?
Most common reason for not seeing the charts is that the temporary directory is not setup with appropriate rights. Snowflake.net generates temporary chart files into the sub-directory of the web application based on the ChartsTemp property. The account that is running the ASP.Net process (typically ASPNET account) needs to have write access to the ChartsTemp directory.