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Introduction

In the fourth article in this series, "Working with MDX Queries." we began an exploration of MDX queries. We discussed the differences between MDX expressions and MDX query statements, and then worked with a PivotTable list as a vehicle for gaining a high-level appreciation for the concepts involved the precise definition of levels within specific dimensions. Following our visual retrieval of data, we discussed key MDX concepts and terminology; then we moved into an exploration of MDX queries built from the ground up, using the MDX sample application to craft our statements and practice their use.

We turned our attention to set functions, both creating and citing uses of sets, while emphasizing their importance in our MDX queries. We elaborated on the specification of members, and the combination of multiple dimensions in the row and column axes, to give our reports truly multidimensional capabilities. Finally, we previewed the creation of dynamic calculated members within our MDX queries in preparation for the current lesson.

In this lesson, we will resume exploring calculated members where we left off in the fourth article. We will continue to practice the creation of dynamic calculated members, both on measure and non-measure dimensions, comparing and contrasting the two general types in a way that will make selection and planning for real-world uses straightforward in most respects. We will move into the realm of aggregation functions, practicing with cumulative totals and other uses. Finally, we will draw upon our exposure to member functions in earlier articles to calculate values based upon the retrieval of member properties with our calculated members.

In this lesson, we will do the following:

  • Discuss the two main ways of handling the creation of calculated members with MDX

  • Use the WITH operator to specify a calculated member in an MDX query

  • Add multiple calculated members in a single MDX query

  • Expose a way to control the order in which calculated members are solved, as well as discuss why precedence of calculation might be critical to generating expected results

  • Use MDX queries to select member properties, with examples that demonstrate the potential value of this capability

  • Overview numerous MDX functions and characteristics, introducing new concepts as well as reviewing concepts we have encountered in earlier lessons, where appropriate

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