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Posted Apr 11, 2005

Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services: Presentation Nuances: CrossTab View - Same Dimension

By William Pearson

About the Series ...

This article is a member of the series Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services. The series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MS SQL Server Analysis Services, with each installment progressively adding features and techniques designed to meet specific real - world needs. For more information on the series, as well as the hardware / software requirements to prepare for the exercises we will undertake, please see my initial article, Creating Our First Cube.

Note: Service Pack current updates are assumed for MSSQL Server, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, and the related Books Online and Samples. Images are from a Windows 2003 Server environment, upon which I have also implemented MS Office 2003, but the steps performed in the articles, together with the views that result, will be quite similar within any environment that supports MSSQL Server 2000 and MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services ("Analysis Services" or "MSAS"). The same is generally true, except where differences are specifically noted, when MS Office 2000 and above are used in the environment, in cases where MS Office components are presented in the article.


In this article, we will examine a subject that is near and dear to broadly focused report authors - the use of cube structure to create desired cosmetic effects - in the Cube Browser, and more importantly, in a reporting environment. I constantly get e-mails, and see questions in forums and elsewhere, asking how to achieve effects that are not apparently "available" in "intuitive" cube structures, such as any of those that we see in the sample cubes. One of the apparent "shortfalls" that frustrate users is their inability to display the same dimension on both the "x-" and "y-" axes for presentation purposes.

In this article, we will examine an approach to meeting the relatively common requirement to present a crosstab display where both axes of the display contain the same dimension, as well as examining other considerations that might be relevant in such a scenario. We will:

  • Present an illustrative, hypothetical business need for a crosstab display whose axes contain the same dimension;
  • Create a copy of the Warehouse sample cube for use in our practice session;
  • Prepare the cube copy further by processing;
  • Add a member property to support a new virtual dimension;
  • Create a virtual dimension, based upon the member property, to support the presentation requirement we have been given;
  • Add a calculated member to present a percent contribution to total value;
  • Examine the results of our handiwork in the Analysis Services Cube Browser;
  • Examine the results of our handiwork, from a reporting perspective, in the MDX Sample Application.

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