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Posted Mar 25, 2003

MDX Member Functions: The "Family" Functions

By William Pearson

About the Series ...

This is the fifth article of the series, MDX Essentials. The primary focus of this series is an introduction to the MDX language. The series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of the Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) language, with each tutorial progressively adding features designed to meet specific real-world needs.

For more information about the series in general, as well as the software and systems requirements needed for getting the most out of the lessons included, please see the first article, MDX at First Glance: Introduction to MDX Essentials.

Note: Beginning with this lesson, Service Pack 3 updates are assumed for MSSQL Server 2000, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, and the related Books Online and Samples.

What We Accomplished in our Last Article

In the fourth article of the series, MDX Members: Introducing Members and Member Functions, we introduced the concept of members, and discussed their pervasive significance within MDX. In an article that served to launch the series' first discreet group of articles, Member Functions, we began our exploration of the powerful .Members operator. Our exposure of this robust and highly useful operator included a discussion of the syntax within which we can best employ it; we then illustrated some of its uses within MDX expressions through practice exercises.

In this lesson, we continue the multiple-article Member Functions segment that focuses upon the member functions (and operators, as appropriate) one at a time, contrasting the uses and effects of each. Specifically, we will expose the .Parent, .Children and Ancestor() functions, discussing the information they return, together with syntactical points surrounding their use. We will illustrate further how to take advantage of these useful functions by performing practice exercises, and commenting on the result datasets we obtain.

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