Having set up the axes as
desired, we are ready to take a look at two primary considerations for our new URL
Action, availability and operation. First, lets examine for
which members of the Product Categories hierarchy the Action is available,
and for which it is disabled, to ascertain that its behavior is in accordance
with the client business requirements we have defined.
14. In the row axis, occupied by the Product
Categories, right-click the row labeled Clothing.
The context menu that
appears contains two Actions, one of which is the URL Action we
have added in preceding steps, named General Search for Product Category:
Clothing, as depicted in Illustration 11.
Illustration 11: The
Newly Added URL Action Appears for the Clothing Category ...
Next, we will repeat the
same test for the Accessories Category, for which we have restricted
selection as a Target for the new URL Action.
15. In the row axis, occupied by the Product
Categories, right-click the row labeled Accessories (the top row in
The context menu that
appears contains only a single Action. This is the one of the Actions
that pre-existed in the AdventureWorks sample, and not the URL Action
that we added in the steps of our exercise. The context menu appears as
shown in Illustration
Illustration 12: The URL
Action is Appropriately Absent (and Unavailable) for Accessories ...
that we do not see our new URL Action in the context menu for Accessories
provides instant confirmation that our Condition within the Action
definition is effective. Recall that the purpose of the Condition
was to render the URL Action unavailable for the Accessories Product Category.
We imposed this Condition in response to the expressed business
requirement of our client colleagues to disable the new URL Action for
the Accessories Category.
next verify that the newly added URL Action is operational, by taking
the following steps.
16. In the axis row, once
again, right-click the row labeled Bikes.
The context menu that
appears this time contains our new URL Action. The name is context
sensitive once again: General Search for Product Category: Bikes, as depicted
in Illustration 13.
Illustration 13: The New
URL Action is Available for the Bikes Product Category ...
17. Click General Search for
Product Category: Bikes on the context menu.
Our click initiates the URL
Action, based upon the Bikes Product Category, and launches an
instance of the web browser (Internet Explorer 7.0, in my case). It
then enacts a general Google search, based upon the term Bikes,
as we specified (via the MDX expression we provided) in our definition of the Action
in the steps above. The browser appears similar to that shown in Illustration 14.
Illustration 14: The URL
Launched Search in Internet Explorer 7.0
We verify, therefore,
that our efforts to meet the requirements of our client colleagues have been
18. Close the web browser, when ready.
19. Further inspect the availability
and operation of the URL Action, performing additional browses, as
20. Within the Business
Intelligence Development Studio, select File -> Save All from the main menu, to save our
work through this point, as depicted in Illustration 15.
Illustration 15: Saving All Work
from Our Session
21. Select File -> Exit, when ready, to leave the Business
Intelligence Development Studio.
In this article, we
explored URL Actions, another mechanism by which information consumers
can extend their efforts beyond the Analysis Services 2005 UDM
structure for analysis and exploration. Our focus upon the URL Action included a brief introduction to
its features, capabilities and possible uses. We then obtained some hands-on
exposure to this standard Action type, creating a URL Action within
the sample AdventureWorks development environment that can be installed
with MSSQL Server 2005.
As a part of our practical
examination of the URL Action, after an overview of its uses and the
data it presents, we focused upon the use of an MDX Condition expression
to restrict its availability within the Cube Browser, and, by extension,
within client applications which a URL Action might be created to
support. Having concluded an examination of the settings involved in creating
our working URL Action, we verified, within the Cube Browser, the
effectiveness of the new URL Action, from the tandem perspectives
of availability of the Action and operation of the
Action, in meeting the business requirements of a hypothetical
See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III
Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MDX Topics Forum.