We arrive at the Define the action syntax dialog. The
appearance of this dialog depends upon our selection of Action type in
the previous dialog. Here we are provided with a place to type, or cut and
paste, the syntax that will appear in the browser that our Action, by its
nature as an HTML-type Action, will initialize when a user calls the Action
from the cube browser or another application.
We will need to do a bit more than to simply supply HTML, however,
if we want to use information from the cube in our example. We will need to
embed some simple MDX within the HTML to bring out some of the data elements
that the information consumer sees in the launched browser display.
While we could return data from another cube in the FoodMart 2000
Analysis Services database, we will keep distractions to a minimum for purposes
of this exercise, and build an HTML page that sports a handful of basic MDX
expressions to populate the intended display. We will do this in such a way
that the MDX can be examined independently, instead of in a single, nebulous
clump that mixes HTML and MDX, without consideration for easy review.
18. Type (or cut and paste
if you like) the following into the Syntax box:
<div class=""title"">Local Manager:</div>
<span name=""title"">"+store.currentmember.properties("Store Manager")+"</span>
<div class=""title"">Store Type:</div>
<span name=""title"">"+store.currentmember.properties("Store Type")+"</span>
<div class=""title"">Floor Area:</div>
<span name=""title"">"+store.currentmember.properties("Store Sqft")+" Sq. Feet</span>
I have intentionally
left spaces in the syntax to separate the portions that call upon MDX
(specifically the .CurrentMember and .Parent functions, as well
as functions using member properties), to make them more readily
While MDX basics are beyond the
scope of this tutorial, my MDX
series is a good place to begin learning hands-on MDX. For a tutorial covering
the use of the .CurrentMember function, see my article MDX
Essentials: MDX Member Functions: "Relative" Member Functions. For a tutorial that focuses on the use of the .Parent function, see MDX
Member Functions: The "Family" Functions.
To assist in building syntax, the MDX Builder
button on the Define the action
syntax dialog will initialize an
MDX "helper" applet. Personally, I find such "helper" tools
of little benefit, but the MDX
Builder might be useful in
enabling a developer to mentally instantiate the layout of the cube design, see
the set of functions and other components that are available, and so on.
The expression store.currentmember.name
in the second string above is intended to retrieve the Store name - upon
which we right click in the client application / browser - from the cube, and
to present it in the top row of a small table. This will act as the "title"
of the simple HTML page that we are creating.
The third string sets
up a row containing the label "Location," and presents the
geographical location of the Store, which is the hierarchical level to
which the Store belongs in the cube hierarchy (and is thus its parent).
We are simply retrieving the name of the Store's parent with this line
of the syntax.
Strings four, five and
six in our syntax example exploit the retrieval of member properties. Member
properties are attributes that can be valuable in just such scenarios as
this; they allow the storage of data that we might want to make available for
easy access, but that we do not want to house among the population of largely
quantitative data for which we have designed our cube. In this case, we
retrieve the name of the Manager, the Type of Store, and
the square footage floor area for the store under consideration.
The top and bottom
strings of the syntax we have entered construct the HTML page with a basic
presentation format for the data we are retrieving.
The Define the action syntax dialog of the Action Wizard,
with our newly input syntax partially shown, appears as depicted in Illustration
8: The Define the Action Syntax Dialog
19. Click Next to
accept the input and proceed to the next dialog.
Many syntax errors will be detected when clicking the Next
button. If you experience such an error during our exercises, back up and
check your typing.
at the Finish the Action Wizard dialog, where we name the Action and we are
given an opportunity to review a summary of its setup.
20. Type the following
into the Action Name box.
21. Click Finish to
accept the settings and create the Action.
The Action Wizard closes, and we see the Action appear in
the Actions folder of the tree pane of the Cube Editor. Our Action
is now in place and ready for use by the intended information consumers.