Chapter 3. Introduction to MDX

In Chapter 2 you ran a simple MDX query to retrieve data from Analysis Services 2005. Building on that, in this chapter you learn the fundamental concepts underlying MDX and how you can manipulate and query multidimensional objects within Analysis Services using MDX. This chapter forms the basis for much of the subsequent chapters in this book; in fact, in several places in this chapter and throughout the book it is shown how each interaction between client tools and the instance of Analysis Services results in the generation of MDX. You not only see the MDX that is generated, but also glean some insight as to what the MDX does.

SQL Server 2005 provides a sample Analysis Services project that contains the majority of the features supported by Analysis Services 2005. In this chapter you will use the sample Analysis Services project shipped with the product to learn MDX. The illustrations are limited to three dimensions for you to more easily understand the concepts. You can extend these concepts if you want to view data across additional dimensions. In this chapter you learn the basic concepts regarding cells, members, tuples, and sets. In addition, you learn how to create MDX expressions and MDX queries for data analysis from Analysis Services databases.

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