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Introduction

The first lesson of this series set out to help readers develop a broad understanding of the components and capabilities of multidimensional expressions by exposing fundamental concepts and terms. We explored basic MDX syntax, with practical examples of using the language to return information from multidimensional data sources. We created a calculated member, which then served as a vehicle from which to navigate the structure of a cube through the use of expressions. Using illustrated examples, we explored ways to return information about members. We practiced using basic conversion functions, and explored putting simple conditional tests and comparisons to work in expressions.

In this tutorial, we'll look beyond using MDX to retrieve member names and properties, and focus on leveraging the capabilities of the language to return values from a multidimensional cube. We'll create calculated measures that reference current members. Moreover, we'll explore more advanced uses of calculated members, using them to refer to current measures, as opposed to the current members. After undertaking a brief overview of relevant parts of the MDX system of notation, we'll explore returning values from cells based on the specification of single dimensions. We'll then expand the reach of our expressions to return information based on the specification of multiple dimensions.

We'll examine real-world uses for our newly adopted capabilities through an exercise that integrates many of these new concepts into a single, practical example. Moreover, we'll take a brief look at string formatting and other nuances, as we prepare results for presentation.

In this lesson, we'll do the following:

  • Expand on MDX concepts and terminology to include the retrieval of values

  • Overview the MDX notation system and its use for the specification of members within expressions

  • Learn to retrieve values by specifying single dimensions

  • Explore the retrieval of values by specifying multiple dimensions

  • Touch on string formatting and other presentation nuances

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