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In this 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 that referenced current members, and explored more advanced uses of calculated members. We practiced returning values from cells based on the specification of single dimensions, and then we extended the expressions to specify multiple dimensions to enhance their utility within the context of reporting from an OLAP data source.
We examined real-world uses for our newly learned capabilities through an exercise that integrated many of the new concepts we've learned into a single, practical example, while adding a brief look at string formatting and other nuances. Throughout the lesson we expanded our growing base of MDX concepts and terminology to include intermediate concepts, and enhanced our understanding of basic MDX syntax with an introduction to the MDX notation system.
Our next tutorial deals with an expansion of the intermediate topics we introduced in this lesson. We'll take on another integrated practice example where we'll delve into further handling hierarchical relationships in expressions. We'll use conditional tests to identify empty members, learning why this is important in building expressions, and how to handle errors that might arise from the associated "divide by zero" scenarios. Finally, we'll consider the pervasive concept of time within the context of expression design, and practice incorporating support for time-based analysis, such as the capture and quantification of change in values over time, with MDX functions that are ideally suited for that purpose.