About the Series …
This is the fifteenth 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 ("MSAS"); 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.
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.
The screen shots that appear in this article were taken from a Windows 2003
Server, and may appear somewhat different from coinciding views in other
last tutorial, Introducing
DISTINCT COUNT, we introduced the concept of distinct counts,
discussing why they are often a requirement in our analysis efforts and those
of the information consumers whom we support. In our introduction and
throughout our examination of the MDX syntax we assembled to achieve our
illustrative objectives, we highlighted the challenges that accompany the use
of distinct counts. We performed practice exercises, to illustrate
solutions for hypothetical business needs that called upon the use of distinct
count capability, obtaining exposure to the options afforded us by the
MSAS user interface, as well the MDX syntax involved with using the alternative
solutions that we proposed.
this article and others subsequent to it, we will focus on time
considerations in our MDX queries, and how we can successfully report change
over time, as well as to accumulate those changes to
present the precise snapshots, trends and other time-based metrics so dearly
appreciated in business. We will briefly discuss common needs with regard to relative
time, and then undertake a multi-step practical exercise, built around a hypothetical
business need, to illustrate a potential solution for that need.