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

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.

Introduction

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
    .
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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