will not take the steps, as part of the practice procedures within this
article, to construct the picklist apparatus within the reporting layer.
However, lets take a look at one approach to assembling the parts in Reporting
Services (or, similarly, in another OLAP reporting application). First, we
would transfer the query to Reporting Services own Data tab to
generate a dataset within the report under consideration. This query,
together with the dataset it generates, would look something similar to that
which is shown in Illustration 6.
Illustration 6: Query and Dataset in Reporting Services to
Support a Parameter Picklist
This is only one approach to creating the dataset perhaps the more
obvious of several. Another might be more optimal, depending upon the
reporting environment under consideration. Other approaches, the components of
which might occupy different layers of the Microsoft integrated business
intelligence solution, might include installation of the calculated members at
the cube level, and then calling (versus defining and building) them
from the reporting layer.
step-by-step procedure that demonstrates the construction of such a cube-based
solution to support a picklist in Reporting Services, see Create
a Cube-Based Hierarchical Picklist in my MDX in
Analysis Services series,
from Analysis Services Cascading Picklists in my MSSQL Server Reporting Services series
here at Database Journal.
we have created the dataset, the next step is to add a parameter
to the report. Inside the Report Parameter definition, we would
reference the new dataset (in the example I created for my illustrations
I named it ProductCategory), as shown, and then select Product Category - MDX Qual Name and Product Category - Full within the Value and Label fields respectively. Illustration
7 presents a view of the way all this would tie together in the Report
Parameter dialog inside Reporting Services.
Illustration 7: Pulling It All Together inside the Report
At this point all that remains is to return to the primary dataset
underneath the report and to insert the parameter placeholder within an
axis specification or a slicer, where it acts as a filter (there are examples
of this, and all other steps, in the articles I have cited above). Executing
the query then triggers the prompting action of the new Product Category
The selection list, displaying the new, concatenated Product
Category name, is manifested in the parameter dropdown when we preview or
execute the report, as depicted in Illustration 8.
Illustration 8: The Product Category Parameter Selector in
And so we see that our query, using the MEMBER_KEY and
MEMBER_NAME properties, and the .UniqueName function, in conjunction
with the relative .CurrentMember function, among others, to present
the Keys, Captions and Unique Names for the Product Categories
in side-by-side columns, can be readily used to support a picklist for a
parameter within the reporting layer of the business intelligence
solution of our client. Having demonstrated the workings of the MEMBER_KEY property
in this fashion has helped us to show our client colleagues that we have,
within the current dataset query, established support for parameterization
based upon underlying cube data.
client colleagues express satisfaction with the results, and confirm their
understanding of the operation of the MEMBER_KEY property within the
contexts we have presented in the practice exercises. We reiterate to the
Reporting team that knowing where to put the intelligence within the various
layers of the Microsoft integrated BI solution can mean centralized
maintenance, highly tuned performance and more effective solutions, in general,
for consumers throughout our organizations.
-> Exit to leave the SQL Server Management Studio, when ready.
this article, we introduced the MDX MEMBER_KEY property, which can be called
upon in activities that range from generating simple lists to supporting parameters
in the reporting layer, as well as more sophisticated uses. We introduced the
function, commenting upon its operation and touching upon the datasets we can
deliver using MEMBER_KEY.
examined the syntax involved with MEMBER_KEY, and then undertook an illustrative
practice exercise showing a business use for the function, generating a query
that capitalized on its primary features. Our exercise consisted of an example
that drew upon our earlier examination of the MEMBER_CAPTION property,
and included the use of the two properties in conjunction with the MDX .UniqueName
function, and the relative .CurrentMember function, among others, to
present the Keys, Captions and Unique Names for the Product
Categories in side-by-side columns within a results dataset. We then
illustrated using such a dataset to support a parameter picklist in a
report that queried an Analysis Services data source. Throughout our
practice session, we briefly discussed the results we obtained from each of the
steps we progressively completed.
See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III
Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MDX Topics Forum.