SSAS Training "getting up to speed ASAP"

  • Hi All I am currently looking to get up to speed with SSAS and MDX script language as fast as possible. I have an assignment which will be throwing me in the deep waters of this uncharted territory (Uncharted for me mainly done SSIS & SSRS dev work). I am currently taking the following course of action to get my head wrapped around things:

    1. Doing the online Microsoft tutorial for SSAS -- SQL Server Analysis Services Tutorial -- found here

    2. Reading through the online info at the Microsoft site on MDX here -- -- and here --

    Please any other suggestions on how to fast track my learning especially where MDX is concerned.

    Thanks in advance.

  • There are some good articles and MDX examples on Vidas site :

    specially MDX cheat sheets which will be very useful.

  • Great thanks Amit much appreciated

  • I have written one post on MDX interview questions. hope it will help you in covering different aspects of MDX:

  • Cheers

  • I was wondering Amit if you know if MDX code can be saved as stored procedures which can be called or are they stored in some other fashion to be used by a end reporting tool?

  • you can store mdx code as a calculated measure within SSAS

  • Ok I am trying to wrap my head around the usage and need of MDX code. I was thinking that MDX was used simular to T-SQL to extract data but only to extract data from a cube as opposed to RDBMS as in T-SQL. My assumption is MDX is used to extract this data to be consumed by some reporting tool Excel, SSRS, Chrystal reports etc.

    So am I correct in my assumptons or is there another primary use of SSAS? And is storing the logic from your MDX code typically done in a measure?

    So what I am asking is would a MDX developer typically write the logic then store this logic in a measure and a consumer would access this via the cube when working in there respective reporting tool?

    Sorry I am a little confused here I hope my question is clear.

  • MDX can be used to pull the data from the cube, also you can update the values present in the cube(Consequently in RDBMS) using MDX. Yes mostly it is used for the reports.

    Basically SSAS is used to build the cube which is nothing but a database. But the difference is, apart from storing the regular data it also stores aggregated values.

    You can store complex calculations in the form of measures in the cube so that you wont have to write it again and again. But you will have to write the basic MDX script to pull the measure from the cube.


  • Yes ... your assumption is correct... MDX is used to extract data from cube as Tsql does for RDBMS... when you use excel as a reporting tool... excel generates xmla (xml for analysis services) and send it to analysis server. Server extract MDX embedded in XMLA and executes and returns results back to excel.

    So coming to your question, it depends on reporting tool as well as method you have used. In Excel, you drag and drop measures and dimension in display area and tool generates MDX behind the scene.

    In reporting services, if you use wizard then tool will generate MDX code which you can modify. If you dont use wizard, you can use your own MDX.

    Hope i am not confusing you. Let me know if it is not clear.

  • Thanks for all your answers this is making it much clearer. I am currently reading Microsoft SQL Server 2008 MDX which is also making things easier to understand. Please if any of you have any good resources to recommend for this feel free to suggest.


  • There's also a series of workshops next year which are lower cost around the country on SSAS depending on where you live. Also, there are 4 days online ssas classes here as well:

    All of these have a day dedicated to MDX.

  • Along the same line, can anyone recommend a good book on SSAS that focuses more on the theory behind data warehousing? I'm looking for something that would be geared more to design than the actual implementation...



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