About the Series …
This is the third 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 (to which I will refer in most
cases as simply "Analysis Services," to
save time and space). 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 Tutorial 1: 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.
In our last tutorial,
we took MDX beyond the retrieval of member names and properties, and
began to focus on leveraging the capabilities of the language to return values
from a multidimensional cube. We created calculated measures whose
values were based upon a constant, then upon current members, and
explored additional uses of calculated members and measures. We
practiced returning values, based upon the specification of dimensions within
MDX expressions, to extend the expressions’ utility within the context of
reporting from an OLAP data source. Moreover, we examined various aspects of
the MDX notation system along the way.
In this tutorial, we
will expand further the intermediate topics we introduced in our last lesson.
We will take on practice examples where we will delve into handling hierarchical
relationships in our expressions. We will also discuss a way to identify empty
members, and illustrate why this is often important in building