MDX Essentials: MDX Members: Introducing Members and Member

About the Series …


This is the fourth article of the series, MDX Essentials. The primary focus of this series is an introduction to the MDX language. The series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of the Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) language, with each tutorial progressively adding features designed to meet specific real-world needs.


For more information about the series in general, as well as the software and systems requirements needed for getting the most out of the lessons included, please see the first article, MDX at First Glance: Introduction to MDX Essentials.


What We Accomplished in our Last Article


In the third article of the series, MDX Operators: The Basics, we explored some of the most basic components involved in the construction and manipulation of tuples and sets. The operators we explored in Lesson Three included curled braces{}“, commas,” and colons:“. We discussed the role each operator plays in MDX expressions and queries, explored the rules of syntax involved in putting each into action, and then provided hands-on exposure to the use of each in simple expressions. We executed the practice expressions to view their respective outputs, commenting on the significance of the results, as a means of a providing a basis for more complex query building as we progress through the series.


In this lesson, MDX Members: Introducing Members and Member Functions, we will introduce the concept of members, and discuss their pervasive significance within MDX. We will then launch the first discreet group of articles in the series, Member Functions. As part of this first foray into the Member Functions collection, we will begin our exploration of the powerful .Members operator. Within our exposure of this robust and highly useful operator, we will discuss the syntax within which we can best employ the function, illustrating some of its uses within MDX expressions through the use of practice exercises.

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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