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Posted Dec 22, 2003

MDX in Analysis Services: Optimizing MDX: Control Location of Processing

By William Pearson

About the Series ...

This is the tenth 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. The screen shots that appear in this article were taken from a Windows 2003 Server, and may appear somewhat different from coinciding views in other operating systems.


With this lesson, we begin a three-part mini-series, Optimizing MDX. In these articles, we will explore methods for optimizing the performance we obtain from our MDX queries. Throughout the three tutorials, we will discuss the main types of intervention through which we can enhance performance of MDX, and we will explore examples of the various types in turn, in a hands-on manner, to provide a practical level of awareness that we can apply in our daily work with MDX.

In this lesson, we will:

  • Expose general types of intervention we can use to optimize MDX queries;
  • Discuss how Analysis Services processes queries, as a preparation for our focus on optimization techniques;
  • Examine the Large Level Threshold property, and its pervasive importance;
  • Begin an exploration of optimization through the control of location of query execution (to be concluded in our next lesson).

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