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This tutorial expanded on the topics introduced in previous lessons. We began the lesson with another integrated practice example, where we explored further the handling of hierarchical relationships in expressions. We practiced using conditional tests to identify empty members, illustrating why a need might arise to do so in building expressions, as well as suggesting a simple approach to handling errors that might arise from associated divide-by-zero scenarios. Finally, introducing the concept of time within the context of expression design, we worked through examples of providing support for time-based analysis, such as the quantification of change over time in values, with MDX functions designed for that purpose.

The next lesson, "Working with MDX Queries," will begin an exploration of MDX queries, and the use of MDX sets within queries. We'll discuss the differences between MDX expressions and MDX query statements, and practice working with rudimentary queries. We'll explore set functions as part of our tutorial, as well as the general creation of sets and some of their potential uses. Finally, as a prelude to lesson 5, "Building Calculated Members," we'll build on our earlier exploration of calculated members, introducing the creation of dynamic calculated members in an MDX query. This is in preparation for using calculated members with aggregate functions to total sets of values in ways that are useful in providing OLAP reporting support for information consumers.

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