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Posted Dec 15, 2003

Introduction to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services: Using Calculated Cells in Analysis Services , Part II - Page 4

By William Pearson

This puts into place the cell property setpoints, namely the ForeColor of magenta and the BackColor of black, which we used in Part I, together with the same format string that we used. For details surrounding these setpoints, please see the discussion surrounding properties in Part I.

All that remains is to "enable" the property setpoints by adding a final line to the query. We will employ the CELL PROPERTIES keyword, along with one or more intrinsic cell properties: in our case, these are FORE_COLOR and BACK_COLOR.

15.  Immediately following the FROM Warehouse line of the SELECT clause, insert:


The combination of the CELL PROPERTIES keyword and the properties that follow it, as shown above, is not required. We just need to keep in mind that, by default, if the CELL PROPERTIES keyword is not used, the cell properties returned are VALUE, FORMATTED_VALUE, and CELL_ORDINAL, and that, if the CELL PROPERTIES keyword is used, only those cell properties explicitly stated with the keyword line are returned. So it is basically a case of "if you specify, specify completely."

The full query should now appear in the Query pane as shown in Illustration 6:

Illustration 6: Adding the Cell Properties Information to Finish

16.  Execute the query via the Run Query button.

The results dataset appears as shown in Illustration 7.

Illustration 7: Results Dataset, MDX Query Step 3

We see the effects of the calculated cell that we have created in action, with the appearance of the exception highlighting we defined it in the MDX query, for individual Warehouses with Warehouse Costs over $ 11,000.

17.      Save the query as ANSYS18-2, closing the sample application when finished.

In addition to providing exception highlighting, as we have seen in the two exercises above, calculated cells could provide other functionality. Examples include:

  • Customization of query results
  • Restriction of calculated cells-based formulas to precise data subsets (through subcube definition)
  • Efficient and simple subset manipulation
  • Flexibility and portability options
  • Provision of a cube structure layer outside (and independent of) cube physical structure
  • Capacity for multi-pass evaluation (such as in a "simultaneous equation" scenario where costs are allocated in more than one step)

An added benefit of using the powerful calculated cells functionality relies upon the fact that they can be configured on the server via Analysis Manager, much as we accomplished in Part I. This can mean the deployment of enhancements to distributed applications and user interfaces with immediate benefit, in many cases without the immediate necessity of reprogramming the interfaces / applications to take advantage of the new features that accrue.

Summary ...

In this lesson, we returned to the exploration of calculated cells which we began in Part I. We focused on the construction of a calculated cell via an MDX query. We overviewed the creation of calculated cells from the perspective of an MDX query, discussing approaches to their creation, as well as associated ramifications of each approach, within the context of scopes assigned.

We then practiced creation of a calculated cell using the WITH clause in an MDX query, paralleling our steps within MDX to mirror the actions we performed in Part I, within the Analysis Services Manager and associated subcomponents. Our steps included the creation of a calculated cell, formatting of calculated cell contents, and the manipulation of other cell properties, such as FORE COLOR and BACK COLOR, to enable exception highlighting.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MDX Topics Forum.

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