MDX in Analysis Services: Optimizing MDX: More on Location, and the Importance of Arrangement

About the Series …

This is the eleventh 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
are assumed for MSSQL Server 2000, MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis
, 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.


In our last tutorial, Control
Location of Processing
, we began a three-part mini-series, Optimizing MDX. We stated
that the objective of this "triptych" is to explore methods for
optimizing the performance we obtain from our MDX queries. We introduced types
intervention, or classifications of approaches, that we can
take, to enhance the performance of MDX, with the intent being to cover several
of the types as we progress through the mini-series, while introducing practice
examples to reinforce an awareness that transfers to our daily work with MDX.
In the first lesson of the Optimizing MDX set, we introduced the
first intervention type, control of location of query execution.

We focused on two of
the main ways to effect control of location, the Large Level Threshold
property and the Execution Location parameter, and performed hands-on
practice with the settings involved with each. In this lesson, we will pick up
where we left off, and:

  • Continue in
    our considerations of the types of intervention we can use to optimize MDX

  • Explore
    optimization of set operations and syntax arrangement considerations.
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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