MDX in Analysis Services: Calculated Members: Further Considerations and Perspectives

About the Series …

This is the eighth tutorial article of the series, MDX in Analysis
Services
. The series is designed to provide hands-on application
of the fundamentals of MDX from the perspective of MS SQL Server 2000
Analysis Services
("Analysis Services,");
our primary focus is the manipulation of multidimensional data sources, using
MDX expressions in a variety of scenarios designed to meet real-world business
intelligence needs.

For more
information on the series, as well as the hardware / software requirements to
prepare for the tutorials we will undertake, please see the first lesson of
this series: MDX Concepts
and Navigation
.

Note: At the time of writing, Service
Pack 3
updates
are assumed for MSSQL Server 2000, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis
Services
, and the related Books Online and Samples.

Introduction

In our
last tutorial, Calculated
Members: Introduction
, we saw through practice that we can easily create and display calculated
members within our queries to meet various business needs. We discussed the two
main ways of handling the creation of calculated members within MDX, focusing
on the use of the WITH operator to create a dynamic calculated member in
an MDX query. Then, we practiced the creation of a straightforward calculated
member, deriving a useful value from existing measures, and formatting the new
calculated measure to meet an illustrated objective.

Our
introduction to dynamic calculated members set the stage for the more advanced
functionality and processes of calculated members that we will begin to explore
in this and following lessons. We will reinforce our knowledge of calculated members, and then
broaden our understanding through an examination of multiple additional
perspectives of these highly useful components in our MDX toolset. In
addition, we will explore a means for controlling the order in which
calculated members are solved, discussing why precedence of
calculation
might be critical to generating the results we expect.

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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