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Sherry Li's BI Corner

Always wanting to publish novels, but having the fortune to work in the data warehouse corner of technology, Sherry Li started to write the mysteries of the Microsoft Business Intelligence. She writes everything from T-SQL to MDX, ETL to Expressions to Scripting, Reporting to Cubes. You can find her writings at bisherryli.wordpress.com.

DAX #1 – Learning DAX

I recently attended a virtual training of Tabular and Power Pivot for Developers taught by Kathy Vick at Pragmatic Works. Kathy had a comment (also an inside joke for developers I think) that for those who already have multidimensional cube and MDX skills, learning about the tabular (and PowerPivot, DAX) model doesn’t make any sense.

Putting the inside joke aside, I think the comment did raise a question in my mind. Why do I need to learn the tabular model? After some thinking, I came up with this answer, to learn DAX.

After 4 days training, and many slides and many demos, I realized that in the back of mind, what I really wanted to learn is another query language, DAX (Data Analysis Expressions).

Yes, this is on top of two query languages, SQL and MDX, most SQL Server developers are already familiar with.

A simple Googling and Bing, the search results are quite interesting.

  • SQL Server 2012 SQL language: over 15 million results.
  • SSAS MDX language: adequately 163 thousand results
  • SSAS DAX language: barely 52 thousand results.

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