A SQL Developer’s Guide to MDX Basics

Shabnam Watson
60 minutes
BI Platform Architecture, Development & Administration
You already know how to write SQL queries against a data warehouse but your new job responsibilities require you to write MDX queries against Analysis Services (SSAS). MDX is the query language of SSAS in multidimensional mode. While SQL and MDX share some common keywords, they have very different syntax and concepts. In fact, the common keywords can be confusing if you are used to thinking in SQL. In this session you will explore how data is organized in SSAS in a data structure called a cube. Next, we will write MDX queries while comparing them with SQL queries that return similar results. You will see how certain queries are much easier to write in MDX, especially when it comes to querying data that contains hierarchies such as a date rollup. Finally, you will learn how to capture MDX queries generated by Excel and SQL Server Management Studio, to use as practical examples of how to write MDX queries.
Knowledge of fundamental data warehouse concepts such as a star schema, dimension and fact tables. No previous MDX experience required.

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