MDX in Analysis Services: Optimizing MDX: Caching and Other Considerations

About the Series …

This is the twelfth 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.
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
operating systems.

Introduction

In our last tutorial, More
on Location, and the Importance of Arrangement
, we returned to our
three-part mini-series, Optimizing MDX. We continued our focus from the
first article of the series, Control
Location of Processing
, exploring the use of control of
location
as a primary intervention type for MDX query optimization. We
performed a practice exercise to reinforce the concepts exposed, and then
extended our considerations of additional types of intervention to include the optimization
of set operations
and syntax arrangement considerations. Within our
exploration of the optimization of set operations, we undertook practice
examples that illustrated some ways we can rearrange queries to enhance
performance, often significantly.

In this lesson, the
final article of the current Optimizing MDX mini-series, we will
expose methods of caching to load a commonly used slice of a cube into
memory, making for faster retrieval in prospective operations. Our discussion
will include various aspects of cache creation, and uses of caching within MDX.
In addition, we will touch upon other performance enhancement options,
including external functions and cube design modifications and
augmentation.

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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