Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is is a 100% managed 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:

  1. An open, community managed standard
  2. Vendor independent
  3. Platform independent
  4. Web service accessible from anywhere
For more details please visit XMLA web site at

Q: How does compare to other products? is the only control that provides access to XML/A (XML for Analysis) and integrates directly into Visual Studio. 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 control is commonly found only in very expensive analytical reporting environments yet costs only $999 for a single server license.

Q: How stable is has been around for a long time (in software terms). Actually 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 cost much less than reporting tools from large analytics vendors?

Would you buy it if cost more :)
On the more serious side, analytical tool vendors provide analytical infrastructures that are meant to support complex analytical activities for very, very large enterprises and typically also include the analytical servers. is a cost conscious alternative that can be used by smaller business for creation of analytical portals, reporting, dashboards as long as they have access to an OLAP server. After all being small does not mean that you can’t be smart.
Note that supports all the features that are required for a very robust, enterprise environment in terms of scalability, performance and security. has been used by very large enterprise such as IRI (Information Resources Inc), ASUS Technologies, Union Pacific, Beauty Prestige International and many more.However, many more companies of lesser size have used as well.

Q: What are the requirements to install the control?

A: To install the control one needs to satisfy following requirements:

1. ASP.Net Server requirements:
-Windows 2000 Server, Windows XP, Windows NT Server with SP6
- IIS installed // (Internet Information Service)
-.Net Framework installed
-Access to web service implementing XML for Analysis data provider
(Snowflake control is tested with Microsoft XML/A provider 1.1)

2. Client browser requirements:
-IE >= 5.0, Netscape Navigator >=6

3. Web application requirements:
-ViewState enabled

4. Developer requirements:
-Visual (one can implement pages without Visual but it makes it a whole lot easier)

5. And of course installation package.

Q: Where can I find the installation package?

You can find installation package (SnowflakeNet.msi) at

Q: Where can I find tutorials or samples?

A: Please send us an email at for the sample applications.

Q: Where I can find demo?

A: Please check out our demo at

To get the source code for the demo please send and an email to

Q: Where can I download a printable copy of manuals or installation guides for product?

A: There is no installation guide for install is a standard msi install package. You can obtain the developer guide by sending an email to

Q: Where do I find development roadmap?

Please request the development roadmap by sending us an email to .

Q: How do I purchase

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 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 control.

Q: Why call a product

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 is used with


Q: What are the licensing options for

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 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 source available? 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 under GPL?

We did not release 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. 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 development cycle work?

Existing and potential customers request most of the features. The features are reviewed, allocated to appropriate release and implemented by 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 by submitting features that they have developed and wish to share with the community as well as by reviewing the early source releases. is released once we feel that sufficient review has been performed.

Q: How do I implement 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

Q: How long can I use the evaluation license?

A: Evaluation licenses allow you to perform up to 15 roundtrips to the server using after which the invalid license message is displayed. You can restart the process by restarting the browser. Should you wish to use you will require a valid license.

OEM and Partnership Information

Q: Do you provide OEM licenses?

Yes we do provide OEM licensing. Please contact for more information.

Q: Is there a partnership program?

Yes there is a partnership program. Requirements for joining are commitment to participate in development community and proven ability to deliver OLAP solutions that include 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 control?

A: provides developers with unprecedented power in an xmla control with features such as:

  • Full XMLA Support - access OLAP and Relational Sources
  • Dice, Slice, Pivot, Zoom in Grid or Chart
  • Synchronized Grid and Chart View
  • Sort and Page
  • Multi-language support
  • Portal support

Q: What are the new features in 3.0?

A: Some of the new features in version 3.0 are:

  • Comprehensive Online Help
  • Multiple member selection in the slicer controls
  • Http Compression support for Snowflake-XMLA communication
  • ASP.Net State Server support
  • Improved UI Events

Q: What are the new features in 2.8?

A: Some of the new features in version 2.8 are:

  • Context Sensitive Menus
  • Drill-through
  • Advanced Slicers
  • Row Sorting
  • Events
  • Subtotals
  • Direct XMLA Resultset Access
  • Drag & Drop Axis Management
  • Drill-down in Charts
  • Portal Support

Q: What makes up the package?

A: The following are included in the package:


SFChart.dll – charting subcomponent

SnowflakeControl.dll – main component

Documentation: 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 control to display XML for Analysis results (OLAP & relational information)?

A: To create a new Web Application in the Visual Studio Developer follow the steps:

  1. Go to File->New Project
  2. Select ASP.NET Web Application
  3. Name your application appropriately, i.e. http://localhost/Snowflake
  4. Add a web form to your application
  5. Add the to the web form
  6. Set the properties

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:

  1. Add control to the toolbox

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 control.

  1. Add control to WebForm

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 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:

  1. Set Component Properties
    • Set the XML For Analysis Provider - Make sure that you have installed XML for Analysis provider available from Microsoft. The provider will by default install in you Program Files directory under Microsoft XML for Analysis SDK. The provider is activated as an isapi extension. You have to add the reference to the msxisapi.dll to the XmlAURL property of the control. To locate the appropriate XmlAURL make sure you follow the XML for Analysis SDK instructions and create a web site that refers to the correct directory.
    • Data Source name and Catalog - They depend on your XML for Analysis provider configuration. You configure the provider by modifying the datasources.xml file in the configuration directory of the XML for Analysis SDK (for our demo is located in the C:/Program Files/Microsoft XML for Analysis SDK/Config directory).
    • Set StartUpQuery – You can set it through the StartUpQuery property using MDX client that comes with Microsoft OLAP Services.



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

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 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 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. 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.