About the Series …
article is a member of the series Introduction to MSSQL Server 2000
Analysis Services. The series is designed to provide hands-on application
of the fundamentals of MS SQL Server 2000 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
Note: Service Pack 3 updates are assumed for MSSQL Server 2000, 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 explore distinct counts, discussing why they
are useful (and often required) within the design of any robust analysis effort.
Throughout this session, we will describe some of the challenges that are
inherent in distinct counts, and then we will undertake practice
exercises to illustrate solutions to meet example business requirements. As a
part of the practical exercises, built around a hypothetical business need, we
will provide an approach afforded us by the MSAS user interface, and then we
will offer an alternative approach using MDX.
We will revisit DISTINCT COUNT at various points in subsequent
articles in our series, examining specifics with regard to appropriate use, and
details of optimization within the perspective under examination in the article
concerned. In this article, we will lay the framework for those specific
scenarios, and discuss the basics of DISTINCT COUNT, together with considerations
that surround its use.