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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Show correct totals when using SSAS role security

When using role security in SSAS, one point of confusion is when a person sees the grand total for a measure that includes the total of ALL members in the cube, even though the security has limited the members that person can see.  To fix this, check the “Enable Visual Totals” check box, so that users can only see the total for members they are allowed to see.  It is located on the Advanced tab on the Dimension Data tab, near the bottom.

For example, let’s say the total revenue for all the divisions in a cube is $15,000. You create a role called “Division A”, and set it up so members of that role can only see the revenue for Division A, which totals $3,000. If you use a front-end tool like Excel to access the cube and use the division hierarchy to see the total revenue, you will see the revenue of $3000 for Division A, but will also see the Grand Total for the revenue as $15,000. This is because the “Enable Visual Totals” box is not selected (which is the default). Selecting this box would result in the Grand Total showing as $3,000.

Calling it “Enable Visual Totals” is very confusing.  Something like “Filter Totals” would have made more sense.


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