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Posted Jul 26, 2004

MDX in Analysis Services: Create a Cube-Based Hierarchical Picklist - Page 4

By William Pearson

We are again using a naming convention for the member to make it apparent, both inside Analysis Services and in the reporting application, that the calculated member exists for use in the reporting ("RS") application, that it has been created to support picklists ("PX"), and that this particular calculated member exists to generate a unique name (the "qualified name") within MDX.

11.  Type the following MDX into the Value Expression section of the Calculated Member Builder:


The MDX expression will return, via our calculated member, the unique name (a member property) that we will use as the value field in dataset query, upon which we base our ultimate report. In other words, it generates the qualified / full name that corresponds to the "user-friendlier" picklist name that the user selects at runtime.

The Calculated Member Builder appears, with our input, as depicted in Illustration 8.

Illustration 8: Calculated Member Builder with Complete MDX Expression (Compressed View)

12.  Click OK to close the Calculated Member Builder.

The new Calculated Members appear in the tree within the Calculated Members folder as shown in Illustration 9.

Illustration 9: Calculated Members in Place for Picklist Name and MSAS Name

(Compressed View)

13.  Select File --> Save to save our additions to the cube structure.

Now that we have the two calculated members in place, let's create a named set to contain them conveniently for use in the reporting application.

14.  Right-click the Named Sets folder within Cube Editor.

15.  Select New Named Set ... from the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 10.

Illustration 10: Select New Named Set ... from the Context Menu

The Named Set Builder opens.

16.  Type the following into the Set name box:


As we saw to be the case with the calculated members earlier, the name of the set can obviously be anything useful in the environment in which we are creating it. I typically use a name similar to the above, in order to make it apparent, both inside Analysis Services and from the reporting application (Reporting Services in this article), that the named set exists for use in the reporting ("RS") application, that it has been created to support picklists ("PX"), and that this particular named set exists to support picklists in our reports for the various levels of the Store dimension.

17.  Type the following MDX (using the graphical design tools, if useful) into the Set Expression section of the Named Set Builder:


The set we specify above will return, via our named set, both the picklist name (which the consumers will see) and the "qualified" MSAS name. The former name provides the list from which the intended audience can select the Store levels they wish to appear in the report; the latter name supplies the MDX- "qualified" name required to filter the report appropriately.

18.  Click the Check button to ascertain the correctness of the syntax.

A confirmation dialog should appear, indicating that Syntax is OK, as shown in Illustration 11.

Illustration 11: Confirmation Dialog Indicates Syntax is Correct

19.  Click OK to close the confirmation dialog.

20.  Click OK to close the Named Set Builder, and save our new named set.

The new named set appears in the tree as depicted in Illustration 12.

Illustration 12: New Named Set Appears

21.  Select File --> Save once again to save the cube with the new addition.

22.  Select Tools --> Process Cube to process the clone cube.

NOTE: The cube must be processed before we can designate it as a data source in the next section.

23.  Click No on the dialog that appears, as shown in Illustration 13; we will not design aggregations at present.

Illustration 13: Click "No" to Designing Aggregations

The Process a Cube dialog appears, as depicted in Illustration 14, with the processing method defaulted to Full Process. Full processing is the only option, as this is the first processing cycle of our cloned cube.

Illustration 14: Full Process Selected in the Process a Cube Dialog

24.  Click OK to begin processing.

Processing begins. The Process viewer displays various logged events, then presents a green Processing completed successfully message, as shown in Illustration 15.

Illustration 15: Indication of Successful Processing Appears

25.  Click Close to dismiss the viewer.

26.  Select File --> Exit to close the Cube Editor.

27.  Close Analysis Services, as desired.

We will leave Analysis Manager opened, as we begin a report in Reporting Services next.

Verification and Use

We can verify the adequacy of our MSAS picklist support structures using the named set (and thus the calculated members that compose it) in a simple report, as we will do in the following steps.

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