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In this lesson, we explored calculated cells, which comprise functionality that is new with MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, and which was previously reserved for calculated members, custom members, and custom rollup formulas. Calculated cells allow us to apply formulas and property settings to a specific range of cells or even to a single cell, and optionally to base these assignments upon conditional criteria that we can stipulate in the creation of the calculated cell. We explored the construction of a calculated cell, touching upon the basic properties that make it up, as a part of our creating a calculated cell in two different ways.

In passing, we discussed the creation of calculated cells with a global scope, and how this might be accomplished through the "permanent" calculated cell creation process of the Calculated Cells Wizard. We focused on calculated cells with a session scope when we took up their creation using an MDX query in our second example. Within that example, we practiced the use of the WITH statement in creating calculated cells, noting that a calculated cell created in this way offers greater flexibility for client applications in many cases.

Finally, we manipulated calculated cells within MDX set expressions, and exposed the procedures behind applying an MDX value expression selectively and providing support for exception highlighting. We practiced the application of the expression to specific cells, based upon an MDX conditional expression.

The next article, "Drilling Through to Details," will explore executing drillthrough statements on multidimensional cubes. First, we will discuss scenarios in which drillthrough from summary cube data to the underlying details might be valuable to information consumers. Next, we will examine strengths and weaknesses of the capability in MSSQL 2000 Analysis Services. We will discuss the steps that need to be taken to implement drillthrough and then set up a sample drillthrough in the Cube Editor to focus on concepts in an introductory fashion.

We will then practice the creation and use of MDX queries that use the DRILLTHROUGH statement to retrieve a rowset from the source data for a cube cell. We will explore the syntax for the DRILLTHROUGH statement thoroughly, and discuss options and parameters that surround this functionality as part of the hands-on exercises.

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