Introduction to MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services: Using Calculated Cells in Analysis Services , Part II

About the Series …

This
is the eighteenth article of the series, Introduction to MSSQL Server
2000 Analysis Services
. As I stated in the first article, Creating Our First Cube, the primary focus of this series
is an introduction to the practical creation and manipulation of
multidimensional OLAP cubes. The series is designed to provide hands-on
application of the fundamentals of MS SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services ("MSAS"),
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 3 updates are assumed for MSSQL
Server 2000
, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, and the related Books
Online
and Samples.

Introduction

In
this article, we will extend the exploration of calculated cells that we
began in our last session,
Using
Calculated Cells in Analysis Services, Part I
. In
Part I we learned that calculated cells offer functionality previously
reserved for calculated members, custom members, and custom rollup formulas
(all of which we have explored in previous articles) to a specific range of
cells
-or even to a single cell. We will revisit the construction of
a calculated cell, touching upon another means of creating one: through an MDX
query.

In this lesson, we will do the following:

  • Overview the
    creation of calculated cells from the perspective of an MDX query

  • Discuss two
    approaches to the creation of a calculated cell via an MDX query

  • Discuss the
    ramifications of the two approaches, within the context of scope assigned by
    each

  • Practice
    creation of a calculated cell using the WITH clause in an MDX query

  • Parallel the methods
    within the MDX query to mirror the actions we performed in Using Calculated Cells in Analysis
    Services, Part
    I within the Analysis Services
    Manager and associated subcomponents, including:

    • creation of a
      calculated cell;

    • formatting of
      calculated cell contents;

    • manipulation
      of other cell properties, such as FORE COLOR and BACK COLOR, to
      enable exception highlighting.
William Pearson
William Pearson
Bill has been working with computers since before becoming a "big eight" CPA, after which he carried his growing information systems knowledge into management accounting, internal auditing, and various capacities of controllership. Bill entered the world of databases and financial systems when he became a consultant for CODA-Financials, a U.K. - based software company that hired only CPA's as application consultants to implement and maintain its integrated financial database - one of the most conceptually powerful, even in his current assessment, to have emerged. At CODA Bill deployed financial databases and business intelligence systems for many global clients. Working with SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase and Informix, and focusing on MSSQL Server, Bill created Island Technologies Inc. in 1997, and has developed a large and diverse customer base over the years since. Bill's background as a CPA, Internal Auditor and Management Accountant enable him to provide value to clients as a liaison between Accounting / Finance and Information Services. Moreover, as a Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) - a Certified Public Accountant recognized for his or her unique ability to provide business insight by leveraging knowledge of information relationships and supporting technologies - Bill offers his clients the CPA's perspective and ability to understand the complicated business implications and risks associated with technology. From this perspective, he helps them to effectively manage information while ensuring the data's reliability, security, accessibility and relevance. Bill has implemented enterprise business intelligence systems over the years for many Fortune 500 companies, focusing his practice (since the advent of MSSQL Server 2000) upon the integrated Microsoft business intelligence solution. He leverages his years of experience with other enterprise OLAP and reporting applications (Cognos, Business Objects, Crystal, and others) in regular conversions of these once-dominant applications to the Microsoft BI stack. Bill believes it is easier to teach technical skills to people with non-technical training than vice-versa, and he constantly seeks ways to graft new technology into the Accounting and Finance arenas. Bill was awarded Microsoft SQL Server MVP in 2009. Hobbies include advanced literature studies and occasional lectures, with recent concentration upon the works of William Faulkner, Henry James, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens. Other long-time interests have included the exploration of generative music sourced from database architecture.

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