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ⓘ Business Intelligence Markup Language




Business Intelligence Markup Language
                                     

ⓘ Business Intelligence Markup Language

Business Intelligence Markup Language is a domain-specific XML dialect for defining business intelligence assets. Biml authored BI assets can currently be used by the BIDS Helper add-on for Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio and the Varigence Mist integrated development environment; both tools translate Biml metadata into SQL Server Integration Services and SQL Server Analysis Services assets for the Microsoft SQL Server platform. However, emitters can be created to compile Biml for any desired BI platform.

While Biml’s declarative design is sufficient to author BI assets, BimlScript extends the language by enabling authors to embed C# or VB.NET code within Biml, similar to how ASP.NET includes.NET code within static HTML markup. BimlScript is used to merge changes into existing Biml assets, automatically generate Biml code, and apply changes across multiple Biml files during compilation.

                                     

1. History

BIDS Helper

As Biml’s popularity has grown, key portions of the Biml engine, including dynamic package generation, have been contributed to the BIDS Helper open source project hosted on CodePlex.

                                     

1.1. History Mist

Mist is an IDE for authoring Biml code and building BI assets. Mist leverages visual design capabilities and debugging features to simultaneously edit entire business intelligence models, including relational tables, SSIS packages, and cubes. Mist also incorporates modern programming IDE features, including text editors with syntax highlighting, Intelliprompt and quick-info displays, source control integration, and multi-monitor support.

                                     

1.2. History BIDS Helper

As Biml’s popularity has grown, key portions of the Biml engine, including dynamic package generation, have been contributed to the BIDS Helper open source project hosted on CodePlex.

                                     

1.3. History BimlScript community

BimlScript.com is a community website for developing and sharing Biml solutions to BI problems, and contributing Biml content to share with others. Along with tutorials, walkthroughs, and videos, the site provides an online Biml editor.

                                     

2. Code generation

Biml files are compiled to produce BI assets for a chosen platform. Currently, it is possible to generate assets for Microsoft’s SSIS, SSAS, and SQL Server platforms, for the 2005, 2008 R2, 2012 and 2014 releases. Other platforms may be targeted in the future.

                                     

3. Syntax

Biml has a syntax that’s common to all XML languages. Tags begin and end with < and >, respectively. Furthermore, tags can have attributes and nested elements.

Root types

Biml has a well-defined set of root types, indicating the various kinds of BI assets that can be created

  • Principals
  • Facts
  • Schemas
  • Connections
  • Tables
  • Script Projects
  • Packages
  • Cubes
  • Dimensions
  • File Formats
  • Databases

Example

This is an example of the AdventureWorks DimCurrency table, authored in Biml

BimlScript

All BimlScript tags begin and end with delimiters, respectively. Special types of BimlScript tags use augmented versions of these delimiters, to indicate specific usages.

Directives

A Biml file, with BimlScript, begins with at least one directive. Directives provide instructions to the Biml engine, regarding how to process the BimlScript and generate its Biml. Directives are single tags that begin with