Introduction to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services: Putting Actions to Work in Regular Cubes - Page 3

March 15, 2004

Getting Started with Actions for Regular Cubes

The Action Wizard in MSAS provides us a quick means of creating and modifying Actions within our cubes. As we have already discussed, and as we shall see in the procedural steps that follow, the Action is created, or edited, based upon several settings we can make or adjust in the Action Wizard. We can learn more about these settings through a hands-on look at the wizard in action.

Create an Action

We call the Action Wizard directly from inside Analysis Manager, and then create an Action by completing several dialogs that prompt us for the required settings.

1.  Start Analysis Manager.

2.  Expand the Analysis Servers folder by clicking the "+" sign to its immediate left.

Our server(s) appear.

3.  Expand the desired server (mine appears as MOTHER1 in the illustrations).

Our database(s) appear underneath the expanded Analysis Server.

4.  Expand the FoodMart2000 database.

5.  Expand the Cubes folder.

The sample cubes appear, amid other MSAS components, as shown in Illustration 1.

Illustration 1: The Sample Cubes in the FoodMart2000 Database

6.  Right-click on the Sales sample cube.

7.  Select Edit... from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 2.

Illustration 2: Select Edit ... from the Context Menu

The Cube Editor appears, exposing the construction of the Sales cube, as depicted in Illustration 3.

Illustration 3: Cube Editor View: Inside the Sales Cube

Note: For a tutorial covering most aspects of the Cube Editor see Working with the Cube Editor, as well as other articles within this series.

In the left pane, we can see several folders. One of these, the Actions folder, will be our focus in the procedures that follow.

8.  Right click the Actions folder.

A single-lined context menu appears, as presented in Illustration 4.

Illustration 4: Context Menu at the Actions Folder

9.  Select New Action... on the context menu.

The first dialog of the Action Wizard appears, as shown in Illustration 5.

Illustration 5: Action Wizard Welcome Dialog

10.  Click Next to proceed.

The Select target dialog of the Action Wizard next appears. Here we will specify the positioning point of the Action within the user's view of the cube - the point in the cube's structure upon which a right-click, as we noted earlier, will present the option to initialize this Action. (Other Actions for the same target point will also appear on the context menu that appears with the right-click).

In the present example, we want to create an Action that allows an information consumer to access general information about a given Store. To this end, we make the following settings in the Select target dialog.

11.  Select A level in this cube in the Target Selector box.

12.  Select Store in the Dimension box.

13.  Select Store Name in the Levels box

14.  Ensure that the Members of the selected level radio button, underneath Define the target as: on the Select Target dialog, is darkened.

The Select target dialog of the Action Wizard, with our settings, should appear as shown in Illustration 6.

Illustration 6: The Completed Select Target Dialog

15.  Click Next to move to the Select the action type dialog.

16.  Select HTML in the Type box.

We note that clicking the selector arrow exposes the various types of Actions, as we discussed above, and listed in Table 1. We also note the presence of the read-only Sample display in the lower half of the dialog. This display provides a brief, context-sensitive description of, and a short sample of the syntax for, the selection we have made in the Type box above it.

The Select the action type dialog of the Action Wizard, with our setting, appears as shown in Illustration 7.

Illustration 7: The Select the Action Type Dialog

17.  Click Next.