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Posted Nov 25, 2003

MDX in Analysis Services: Calculated Members: Leveraging Member Properties

By William Pearson

About the Series ...

This is the ninth tutorial article of the series, MDX in Analysis Services. The series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MDX from the perspective of MS SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services ("Analysis Services,"); our primary focus is the manipulation of multidimensional data sources, using MDX expressions in a variety of scenarios designed to meet real-world business intelligence needs.

For more information on the series, as well as the hardware / software requirements to prepare for the tutorials we will undertake, please see the first lesson of this series: MDX Concepts and Navigation.

Note: At the time of writing, Service Pack 3 updates are assumed for MSSQL Server 2000, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, and the related Books Online and Samples.


In our last tutorial, Calculated Members: Further Considerations and Perspectives, we continued the exploration of calculated members that we began in the previous lesson, Calculated Members: Introduction. We discussed ways of handling the creation of calculated members with MDX, and practiced the addition of multiple calculated members in a single MDX query. We explored additional perspectives of calculated members along the way, including format considerations. Finally, we exposed a means for controlling the order in which calculated members are solved, discussing why precedence of calculation might be critical in generating the results we expect, and examining an instance where the SOLVE_ORDER keyword made it possible to bring about the desired results in a returned dataset.

Our work with calculated members in the previous lessons brings us to a new consideration: the selection and retrieval of member properties. In this article, we will discuss the nature of member properties, providing illustrations of how they can be used to help us to meet our business needs. We will then focus upon the selection of member properties within our MDX queries, using calculated members. We will see how MDX queries allow for the selection of member properties, which are defined for the dimensions themselves, or on individual member levels. Member properties can be useful within the realm of business intelligence, as we shall see with the practice example that we explore together.

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