Q: I read with much interest your December 2006 article "Ascmd" (InstantDoc ID 93746). I've been trying to find this utility in the SQL Server installation files without any luck. I've done a complete installation of SQL Server 2005 including the database engine and Analysis Services, as well as all of the client components and samples. I then applied Service Pack 1 (SP1). I also ran the samples MSI package from the SQL Server 2005 Start Menu, but still no utility. Would you be kind enough to give me any quick tips to find it? It would be very useful for a project I am currently working on.
A: The ascmd utility ships as part of Analysis Services Administrative Samples in the SQL Server 2005 Samples, which you can download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e719ecf7-9f46-4312-af89-6ad8702e4e6e&DisplayLang=en. What can be confusing is that all of the Samples ship in source code, not as binary executables. If you want a version of the ascmd utility that you can run, you need to compile it by using either Visual Studio or the .NET Framework software development kit (SDK). The ascmd readme.html file has complete instructions for recompiling the utility. Recompiling is also covered in the SQL Server 2005 Books Online (BOL) entry for ascmd.
Although the need to recompile the utility might seem like a problem, it's actually a good thing. It means that we were able to distribute the utility in source form. Thus, if you want to customize ascmd, you can do it yourself without getting Microsoft involved (although I'd love to hear about what you've done so I can improve the utility in future versions). Contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you make changes or if you have suggestions for improving the utility in future versions. Thanks!
—Dave Wickert, Microsoft