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In Part 2 of this series, "Intermediate MDX Concepts, Part 1," we turned our focus to returning values from a multidimensional cube. We created calculated measures that referenced current members, and explored more advanced uses of calculated members; using them, in turn, to refer to current measures. Throughout the lesson, we expanded a growing body of MDX concepts and terminology to include the retrieval of values.

We briefly explored parts of the MDX system of notation relevant to the objectives of the lesson, centering largely on the concepts of specifying dimensions in MDX expressions. We examined practical uses for MDX expressions in an exercise that integrated many of the concepts we've discussed into a single, practical example. As part of the exercise, we took a brief look at string formatting and other presentation nuances.

In this tutorial, we'll expand on the intermediate topics introduced previously to do the following:

  • Use expressions to further leverage the hierarchical relationships that exist in an OLAP cube

  • Handle empty-member considerations

  • Retrieve data from a secondary OLAP cube

  • Build the concept of time into expression designs

  • Incorporate support for time-based analysis with MDX functions

  • Generate variance calculations

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