5.3. Browsing the Dimension

After successfully creating the Dim Geography dimension, you definitely would like to see the results of what you have created and find out how you can see the members of the dimension. So far the dimension has been designed, but not deployed to the server. Indeed, there has been no interaction with the instance of Analysis Services instance yet. In order to see the members of the dimension, Analysis Services needs to receive the details of the dimension (the attributes, member properties and the multi-level hierarchies you have created). You learned in Chapter 3 that the Analysis Services 2005 tools communicate to the instance of Analysis Services via XML/A (XML for Analysis).

XML/A is a Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)-based XML Application Programming Interface (API), which is an industry standard, designed for OLAP and Data Mining. The XML/A specification defines the two functions, Execute and Discover, which are used to send actions to and retrieve data from the host instance. The Execute and Discover functions take several parameters that help in various actions the instance of Analysis Services will perform. One of the parameters of the Execute function is the command sent to an instance of Analysis Services — note that in addition to supporting XML/A, Analysis Services supports extensions to the standard. Following is a sample Execute request sent to an instance of Analysis Services using XML/A. The Execute request is a modified version ...

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