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Posted Feb 23, 2004

MDX in Analysis Services: Optimizing MDX: Caching and Other Considerations

By William Pearson

About the Series ...

This is the twelfth tutorial article of the series, MDX in Analysis Services. The series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MDX from the perspective of MS SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services ("Analysis Services,"); our primary focus is the manipulation of multidimensional data sources, using MDX expressions, in a variety of scenarios designed to meet real-world business intelligence needs.

For more information on the series, as well as the hardware / software requirements to prepare for the tutorials we will undertake, please see the first lesson of this series: MDX Concepts and Navigation.

Note: At the time of writing, Service Pack 3 updates are assumed for MSSQL Server 2000, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, and the related Books Online and Samples. The screen shots that appear in this article were taken from a Windows 2003 Server, and may appear somewhat different from coinciding views in other operating systems.

Introduction

In our last tutorial, More on Location, and the Importance of Arrangement, we returned to our three-part mini-series, Optimizing MDX. We continued our focus from the first article of the series, Control Location of Processing, exploring the use of control of location as a primary intervention type for MDX query optimization. We performed a practice exercise to reinforce the concepts exposed, and then extended our considerations of additional types of intervention to include the optimization of set operations and syntax arrangement considerations. Within our exploration of the optimization of set operations, we undertook practice examples that illustrated some ways we can rearrange queries to enhance performance, often significantly.

In this lesson, the final article of the current Optimizing MDX mini-series, we will expose methods of caching to load a commonly used slice of a cube into memory, making for faster retrieval in prospective operations. Our discussion will include various aspects of cache creation, and uses of caching within MDX. In addition, we will touch upon other performance enhancement options, including external functions and cube design modifications and augmentation.



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