Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services: Named Sets Revisited

Monday Dec 12th 2005 by William Pearson
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Business Intelligence Architect Bill Pearson introduces Named Sets within the context of MSSQL Server 2005. In this examination of the basics, we get hands-on practice defining a Named Set within the Business Intelligence Development Studio.

About the Series ...

This article is a member of the series Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services. The series is designed to provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MS SQL Server Analysis Services, with each installment progressively presenting features and techniques designed to meet specific real - world needs. For more information on the series, please see my initial article, Creating Our First Cube.

Note: This article examines exciting new features of MSSQL Server 2005. To follow along with the steps we undertake, the following components, samples and tools are recommended, and should be installed according to the respective documentation that accompanies MSSQL Server 2005:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Database Engine

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services

  • Business Intelligence Development Studio

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 sample databases

  • The Analysis Services Tutorial sample project and other samples, that are available with the installation of the above.

    To successfully replicate the steps of the article, you also need to have:

  • Membership within one of the following:

    • the Administrators local group on the Analysis Services computer

    • the Server role in the instance of Analysis Services.

  • Read permissions within any SQL Server 2005 sample databases we access within our practice session, if appropriate.

    Note: Current Service Pack updates are assumed for the operating system, MSSQL Server 2005 ("MSSQL Server"), MSSQL Server 2005 Analysis Services ("Analysis Services"), MSSQL Server 2005 Reporting Services ("Reporting Services") and the related Books Online and Samples. Images are from a Windows 2003 Server environment, but the steps performed in the articles, together with the views that result, will be quite similar within any environment that supports MSSQL Server 2005 and its component applications.

Introduction

In this lesson, we revisit Named Sets, a subject that we undertook in my article MDX in Analysis Services: Named Sets in MDX: An Introduction, in March of 2004. There, we introduced Named Sets from the perspective of the MDX query language, having obtained brief exposure to the concept of Named Sets earlier in the MDX in Analysis Services series (Using Sets in MDX Queries). We examined Named Sets as they existed within Analysis Services 2000, touching upon them from the perspective of Analysis Manager, the Cube Editor, and related interfaces in Analysis Services.

Named Sets have changed somewhat in Analysis Services 2005, but their definition has remained the same: Named Sets are (MDX) expressions that return sets, unsurprisingly, which are saved as part of the definition of a cube in Analysis Services. As we have mentioned before, Named Sets are created with reuse in mind. Named Sets consist of one or more tuples. They can be made up of more than one dimension, because a tuple can consist of one or more dimension members; only one member from each dimension can be represented per tuple, however, as we have discussed in sessions over the last couple of years.

In this article, we will be focusing upon Named Sets that we create within the MSSQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio. First, we will introduce the concepts behind Named Sets, and then we will undertake illustrative practice examples, based upon a hypothetical business need, to illustrate the value that Named Sets can offer us. Within the context of our practice exercise, we will discuss the results we obtain, to reinforce the subject matter in a way that activates the concepts involved, as well as to perhaps suggest expanded uses in our own business environments.

Named Sets in Analysis Services

Named Sets enable the enterprise to simplify queries, and to provide more useful aliases for complex, commonly used set expressions and definitions. They are certainly among the best friends of report developers / authors – indeed, enterprise OLAP reporting tools, such as Crystal Analysis and others rely heavily upon Named Sets in their translation of the actions of report authors, within their graphical interfaces, to the MDX ultimately created to retrieve the desired data from Analysis Services cubes.

An illustrative Named Set might be called Top 25 Customers, which might contain the twenty-five customers, from, say, the Adventure Works cube, with the highest values for the Sales Amount measure. Once the Named Set is constructed, we can perform analysis and generate reports upon the Top 25 Customers by simply referencing the Named Set, eliminating the requirement to provide the qualified names of all twenty-five customers in each underlying query we assemble to return data about this customer group.

In this article, we will:

  • Discuss the concept of Named Sets, and how we can leverage them in Analysis Services for analysis and reporting purposes;

  • Create a clone Analysis Services Database in SQL Server Management Studio, within which to conduct our practice exercises;

  • Access the Analysis Services Database in Business Intelligence Development Studio;

  • Create a Named Set within an Analysis Services 2005 cube;

  • Verify operation of our new Named Set by performing a browse of the cube.

Working with Named Sets in Analysis Services

Overview and Discussion

While the basic concepts remain the same, the functional value of Named Sets has been extended in Analysis Services 2005. Not only can Named Sets be used in MDX queries, including those generated via reporting (such as Reporting Services) and other applications, but Named Sets can be leveraged to define sets within subcubes. Subcubes can be used as a means of economizing cube space, specifically within the context of subsequent statements, and we will examine them separately in more depth in prospective articles. Suffice it to say, for now, that, in this area, as well as many others within Analysis Services 2005, we are afforded more flexibility and control over various aspects of cube operations. We can leverage Named Sets definitions to include cube data in combination with functions, operators and numerical values; their potential is significant for the knowledgeable implementer.

Named Sets are useful and reusable. They allow us the luxury of simple aliases that we can call upon to represent sets of dimension members. The underlying set expressions can be complex, and the ability to enclose these expressions within a user-friendly alias means easier query construction in general, most particularly when the composite expressions are used on a recurring basis. As we might imagine, well-constructed and intuitively titled Named Sets can mean less likelihood of error, especially in the hands of users with limited MDX exposure. They are often leveraged in enterprise reporting applications, most commonly when "editors" are used to generate MDX queries.

In addition to acting as surrogates for sets with which we work, or upon which we otherwise focus, routinely, Named Sets also provide other advantages. They provide a means of simplifying queries by allowing us to not only represent complex sets, as we have noted, with simpler aliases, but also by providing a level of abstraction in the representation of the logic behind involved set operations, again benefiting the ultimate consumer through ease of use and less exposure to error. Finally, Named Sets can mean more efficient query execution – whether defined within the cube structure via Business Intelligence Development Studio, or through other means, or whether defined within a query that is executed against a given cube, the Named Set is evaluated once, and the values it contains are subsequently reused, a circumstance that can be leveraged to increase overall operating efficiency.

Considerations and Comments

For purposes of the practice exercises within this series, we will be working with samples that are provided with MSSQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. These samples include, predominantly, the Adventure Works DW Analysis Services database (with member objects). The Adventure Works DW Analysis Services database and companion samples are not installed by default in MSSQL Server 2005. The samples can be installed during Setup, or at any time after MSSQL Server has been installed. The topics "Running Setup to Install AdventureWorks Sample Databases and Samples" in SQL Server Setup Help or "Installing AdventureWorks Sample Databases and Samples" in the Books Online (both of which are included on the installation CD(s), and are available from www.Microsoft.com and other sources, as well), provide guidance on samples installation.

Important information regarding the rights / privileges required to accomplish samples installation, as well as to access the samples once installed, is included in the references I have noted.

Hands-On Procedure

Let's get some hands-on practice with Named Sets. To prepare, we will create a new Analysis Services database, based upon the existing Adventure Works DW sample database, to insulate the original sample database from modifications we will make. We will accomplish the creation of the "clone" database from within the SQL Server Management Studio, and then work with our new database from the Business Intelligence Development Studio.

Preparation

Create a Clone Analysis Services Database in SQL Server Management Studio

We will begin our preparation within SQL Server Management Studio, where we will create a clone of the sample Adventure Works DW database, which can be installed by anyone installing MSSQL Server 2005 Analysis Services.

1.  Click the Start button.

2.  Select Microsoft SQL Server 2005 within the Program group of the menu.

3.  Click SQL Server Management Studio, as shown in Illustration 1.

Click for larger image

Illustration 1: Opening SQL Server Management Studio

The Connect to Server dialog appears.

4.  Select Analysis Services in the Server type selector.

5.  Type / select the server name / instance, if appropriate) into the Server name selector.

6.  Supply authentication information, as required in your own environment.

The Connect to Server dialog appears, with the appropriate input for our local environments, similar to that depicted in Illustration 2.

Click for larger image

Illustration 2: The Connect to Server Dialog, with Representative Settings

7.  Click the Connect button to connect with the specified Analysis Services server.

The SQL Server Management Studio opens.

8.  Within the Object Explorer (the leftmost pane of the Studio, by default), expand the server in which we are working, if necessary, by clicking the "+" sign to its immediate left.

9.  Expand the Databases folder that appears underneath the expanded server.

10.  Right-click the Adventure Works DW database.

11.  Select Back Up... from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 3.


Illustration 3: Right-click the Adventure Works DW Database – Select Back Up ...

The Backup Database – Adventure Works DW dialog appears.

12.  Replace the default name that appears in the Backup file box with the following:

ANSYS042 Adventure Works DW.abf

13.  Uncheck the Apply compression setting in the Options section.

14.  Uncheck the Encrypt backup file setting that immediately follows.

The Backup Database – Adventure Works DW dialog appears, as depicted in Illustration 4.


Illustration 4: The Backup Database – Adventure Works DW Dialog Appears

15.  Click OK to begin the backup.

The Backup Database – Adventure Works DW dialog grays, as the Executing symbol in the Progress pane (lower left corner of the dialog) becomes active. The process may run several minutes depending upon the resources available on the local PC. Once completed, the dialog closes, returning us to the Management Studio.

We will now restore the same backup under a different name, to create a copy of the existing sample database – a copy wherein we can make modifications without impairing the existing sample, which we may wish to use to complete tutorials included with MSSQL Server 2005 or elsewhere.

16.  Within the Object Explorer, right-click the Databases folder underneath the Adventure Works DW database.

17.  Select Restore... from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 5.


Illustration 5: Right-click the Databases Folder – Select Restore ...

The Restore Database dialog appears.

18.  Click the Browse button to the right of the box (second from the top) labeled From backup file.

The Locate Database Files dialog appears.

19.  Navigate to the following backup file (where we located it in our backup steps above):

ANSYS042 Adventure Works DW.abf

20.  Click the file within the Select the file window, to place the file name into the File name box, as depicted in Illustration 6.


Illustration 6: Locate Database Files Dialog with Our Input ...

21.  Click OK to accept the file path / name, and to close the Locate Database Files dialog.

We return to the Restore Database dialog, where we see the file we have selected appear in the From backup file box.

22.  Type the following into the Restore database box immediately above the From backup file box:

ANSYS042 Adventure Works DW

The Restore Database dialog, with our input, appears as shown in Illustration 7.


Illustration 7: The Completed Restore Database Dialog

23.  Click OK to initiate the restoration.

The Restore Database dialog grays, as the Executing symbol in the Progress pane, once again, becomes active. The process runs, and, once completed, the dialog closes, returning us to the Management Studio. Here we see the new ANSYS042 Adventure Works DW database appear in the Object Browser, as depicted in Illustration 8.


Illustration 8: The New Database Appears ...

NOTE: If the new database does not appear immediately, right-click the Databases folder and select Refresh from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 9.


Illustration 9: Refreshing as Required ...

Having created the ANSYS042 Adventure Works DW database, we can now proceed with the practice portion of our session, and get some hands-on experience with Named Sets in Analysis Services 2005. To do so, we will move to the Business Intelligence Development Studio, closing SQL Server Management Studio for the present.

24.  Select File --> Exit from the main menu in the SQL Server Management Studio.

Procedure

Access the Analysis Services Database in Business Intelligence Development Studio

We will access the new Analysis Services database we have created within the Business Intelligence Development Studio, where we can best accomplish design and development work in general. While we certainly might begin within the BI Development Studio by creating an Analysis Services project, when building all the components from scratch, we will take a few shortcuts here to more rapidly get to the subject matter of our session, Named Sets.

1.  Click the Start button, once again.

2.  Select Microsoft SQL Server 2005 within the Program group of the menu.

3.  Click SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, as depicted in Illustration 10.

Click for larger image

Illustration 10: Opening SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio

The Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development environment opens, beginning with the Start page, as shown in Illustration 11.

Click for larger image

Illustration 11: The Start Page, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Development Environment (Compressed View)

4.  Close the Start Page tab.

5.  Select File --> Open on the Visual Studio main menu.

6.  Select Analysis Services Database from the cascading menu, as depicted in Illustration 12.


Illustration 12: Opening an Analysis Services Database ...

The Connect to Database dialog appears.

7.  Ensure that the radio button to the immediate left of Connect to existing database is selected.

8.  Type the name of the server / server with instance into the Server box. (Mine is MOTHER1\M1MSSQL2K5, as seen in various illustrations throughout my articles)

9.  Select the ANSYS042 Adventure Works DW database in the Database selector underneath the Server box.

10.  Click the Browse button to the right of the box labeled New Solution at the bottom of the Connect to Database dialog.

The Browse for directory ... dialog opens.

11.  Navigate to a convenient place to store the objects created within our solution.

12.  Within the Browse for directory ... dialog, once it rests at a convenient place, right-click the white space within the dialog.

13.  Select New from the context menu that appears.

14.  Select Folder from the cascading menu that branches off the New selection, as shown in Illustration 13.


Illustration 13: Select New --> Folder

A folder, with edit-ready title New Folder, appears.

15.  Name the new folder as follows:

ANSYS042 Intro Named Sets

The new folder appears as depicted in Illustration 14.


Illustration 14: New Folder to House Our Solution Files ...

16.  With the folder selected, click the open button.

The Browse for directory ... dialog closes, and we return to the Connect to Database dialog, which appears, with our input, similar to that shown in Illustration 15.


Illustration 15: The Connect to Database Dialog with our Input

17.  Click OK to accept our input, and to connect to the Analysis Services database.

The Connect to Database dialog closes, and we see our clone Analysis Services database open, complete with all member objects, in Solution Explorer (which appears, by default, in the upper right corner of the BI Development Studio), as partially depicted in Illustration 16.


Illustration 16: The Analysis Services Database Appears in Solution Explorer (Partial View)

We are now positioned to get some practice with defining Named Sets within a cube. In the next section, we will work within the Adventure Works cube to create a Named Set.

Create a Named Set within an Analysis Services 2005 Cube

When we create a Named Set in an Analysis Services cube, we are actually creating a definition for storage within the cube's structure, as we have already discovered. In this section, we will get a feel for the steps in defining Named Sets within the BI Development Studio.

Let's open the Adventure Works cube, within the clone Analysis Services database we have created, and begin our practice with Named Sets.

1.  Right-click the Adventure Works cube in the Solution Explorer (within the Cubes folder of the tree).

2.  Select Open from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 17.

Click for larger image

Illustration 17: Open the Adventure Works Cube ...

The Cube Designer, one of several specialized variants within the BI Intelligence Development Studio (among which this is a member of the Analysis Services project subset) opens, defaulted to the Cube Structure tab. For purposes of this article, we will be working largely within the Calculations tab, where Named Sets are conveniently constructed and maintained.

NOTE: I perform in-depth examinations of many of the specific capabilities and features of the SQL Server Business Intelligence Studio (which provides significant support in helping us to work with Analysis Services projects, and to integrate Analysis Services projects with Reporting Services and Integration Services), as well as the SQL Server Management Studio, in other articles of my series' here at Database Journal. In the interest of time and focus, we will limit our discussion in this article to relevant portions of this highly evolved development environment. For more on the features of each of the studios, I invite you to visit my series index page.

3.  Click the Calculations tab atop the Cube Designer, as depicted in Illustration 18.


Illustration 18: Switching to the Calculations Tab ...

The Calculations tab loads.

4.  If necessary, click Form View, whose icon appears just beneath the Calculations tab label, as shown in Illustration 19.


Illustration 19: Click Form View, If Necessary ...

5.  Right-click the [High Discount Promotions] Named Set in the Script Organizer pane (upper left corner of the Calculations tab).

6.  Select New Named Set from the context menu that appears as depicted in Illustration 20.


Illustration 20: Selecting an Entry Point ... for New Named Set Creation

The Script Organizer serves as a place to list Calculations (which include Calculated Members, Named Sets, and other Script Commands). The relative positioning of a given calculation within the Script Organizer pane determines its order of execution. We can place the calculation where we want it from the moment of its creation, or we can create and move it at any time using the Move Up or Move Down buttons that are accessible, as shown in Illustration 21, via the arrow buttons on the Calculations tab toolbar, or via the context menu that appears when we right-click a calculation of interest within the Script Organizer.


Illustration 21: Moving a Calculation Changes Its Execution Order ...

Clicking New Named Set on the context menu earlier has opened a blank Calculations form to the right of the Script Organizer pane. It is here that we will define new Calculations, and where we will define our new Named Set within the steps that follow.

7.  Type the following into the Name field of the Calculations form.

[Non-Hardware Subcategories]

8.  Type (or cut and paste) the following MDX syntax into the Expression box underneath the Name box.


DRILLDOWNMEMBER( {
 [Product].[Product Categories].[Category].[Accessories], 
    [Product].[Product Categories].[Category].[Clothing]},
              {[Product].[Product Categories].[Category], 
           [Product].[Product Categories].[Category].[Clothing].Children }
              )

The Calculations form, with our input, appears as depicted in Illustration 22.


Illustration 22: The Calculation Form for the New Named Set

For purposes of illustration, we are creating a Named Set that might answer the need of organizational information consumers who, say, wish to present values for a given measure or measures for Product Categories that lie outside the realm of the "hardware" (primarily Bikes and Components) within the AdventureWorks product offerings. The net effect, from a presentation perspective, will be to present, within Reporting Services, the summarized sales for Accessories and Clothing, among other options.

NOTE: For detailed information on the MDX DRILLDOWNMEMBER() function, see Set Functions: The DRILLDOWNMEMBER() Function, a member of my monthly MDX Essentials series at Database Journal.

We might have performed drag and drop from the Metadata tab (a source of the metadata components we might use within expression construction), or from the Functions tab (a source of various MDX and other functions we might leverage in building our expressions) within the Calculation Tools pane, which lies directly beneath the Script Organizer pane. Let's take a look at a couple of examples of how this might be done within the construction of the expression we have already input.

9.  On the Metadata tab of the Calculation Tools pane, expand the Product dimension by clicking the "+" sign to its immediate left.

10.  Expand the Product Categories hierarchy.

11.  Expand the Category level of the hierarchy.

The Metadata tab, with our expansions, appears as partially shown in Illustration 23.


Illustration 23: The Metadata Tab (Partial View) with Our Expansions ...

As an example of how we might use the Metadata tab (had we not already typed in the MDX syntax above), we could, at this stage, select, drag and drop the Accessories and Clothing categories at this point to the Expression box of the Calculations form. There, when we drop the respective items, the syntax for each would be substituted in the Expression box, alleviating the need for much of the typing.

We can similarly select functions we use in our expressions. Let's look at an example.

12.  Click the Functions tab of the Calculation Tools pane.

13.  Expand the UI folder by clicking the "+" sign to its immediate left.

The Functions tab, with our expansion, appears as depicted in Illustration 24.


Illustration 24: The Functions Tab with Our Expansion ...

We might use the Function tab, in a manner similar to the way we used the Metadata tab earlier, by selecting, dragging and dropping the DRILLDOWNMEMBER function, in the specific Named Set example above, to the Expression box of the Calculations form – although we would probably do so before dragging in the members to which we applied the function. Once we dropped the function, its syntax would be substituted in the Expression box, alleviating the need for typing the function. We could then either drag and drop, or type, the Product Category members into the parentheses of the DRILLDOWNMEMBER() function (the parentheses would appear when we dropped the function into the Expression box) to approach completion of our expression.

Whatever means we have used to assemble our new Named Set, this is a good time to check the syntax.

14.  Click the Check Syntax button atop the Calculations tab (immediately under and to the right of the Calculations label on the tab itself), as shown in Illustration 25.


Illustration 25: The Check Syntax Button

If the expression syntax matches exactly that which I supplied above, a Check Syntax message box appears, indicating that the syntax check was successful, as depicted in Illustration 26.


Illustration 26: We Receive Indication of a Successful Syntax Check

15.  Click OK to close the Check Syntax message box.

16.  Select File --> Save All to save the Project with our work to this point.

Having defined our new Named Set, we are ready to verify its operation in the section that follows.

Verification

Create Named Sets within an Analysis Services 2005 Cube

Perhaps the easiest way to monitor the success of handiwork, from our current position in the BI Development Studio, will be to browse the Adventure Works cube through the use of our new Non-Hardware Subcategories Named Set.

1.  Select Build --> Process from the main menu, as shown in Illustration 27.

Click for larger image

Illustration 27: Select Build --> Process ...

The Process Cube – Adventure Works dialog appears, with the Adventure Works cube appearing in the Object list in the upper half, defaulted to Full Process, as depicted in Illustration 28.

Click for larger image

Illustration 28: The Process Cube – Adventure Works Dialog

2.  Click Run, in the bottom left corner of the dialog, to begin processing.

The Process Progress viewer appears, with the various events of the processing cycle displayed as they are accomplished. Once processing finishes, we see a Process succeeded message appear in the Status bar at the bottom of the Process Progress viewer, as shown in Illustration 29.

Click for larger image

Illustration 29: Processing Completes Successfully ...

3.  Click Close to dismiss the Process Progress viewer.

4.  Click Close to dismiss the Process Cube – Adventure Works dialog.

We return to the Cube Designer, where we left to process the cube.

5.  Click the Browser tab, as depicted in Illustration 30.


Illustration 30: Click the Browser Tab ...

6.  Click the Reconnect button, in the toolbar just underneath the Cube Structure and Dimension Usage tabs atop the Cube Designer, as shown in Illustration 31.


Illustration 31: Click the Reconnect Button ...

7.  In the Metadata pane (left side of the Browser tab), expand the Measures group to expose the various underlying folders.

8.  Expand the Internet Sales folder, exposing the underlying measures and calculations.

9.  Drag the Internet Sales Amount measure to the data area, and drop it into the section marked Drop Totals or Detail Fields Here, as depicted in Illustration 32.


Illustration 32: Dragging the Measure to the Data Area ...

10.  In the Metadata pane, expand the Product dimension to expose the various underlying objects.

11.  Right-click the Product Categories hierarchy.

12.  Select Add to Row Area from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 33.


Illustration 33: Adding Product Categories to the Row Area of the Browser ...

We see that Product Category occupies the row axis of the browser, as depicted in Illustration 34.


Illustration 34: Product Category Appears in the Row Axis

13.  Click the downward arrow on the Category heading of the row axis, to expand the selector.

The selector opens, wherein we see all selections checked.

14.  Expand each of the Categories to display its underlying children, as shown in Illustration 35.


Illustration 35: All Categories Expanded ...

15.  Click OK to accept the selection, and to close the Category selector.

At this point, we see all Product Categories, in rolled-up state. Let's drill into the underlying children of the Categories at this point.

16.  Expand each of the Categories in the browser by clicking the plus ("+") sign to its immediate left.

The data now appears drilled down to the Subcategory level, as depicted in Illustration 36.


Illustration 36: Browser View – Drilled Down to Product Subcategories

17.  In the Metadata pane, within the Product dimension, right click the new Non-Hardware Subcategories Named Set.

18.  Select Add to Subcube Area from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 37.


Illustration 37: Adding the New Named Set to the Subcube Area

The new Named Set now appears within the Filter pane, just above the Data pane of the Browser tab. The resulting view within the Data pane appears (along with the Filter pane) as depicted in Illustration 38.


Illustration 38: The Effect of Adding the New Named Set as a Filter ...

We obtain these results because we are applying our new Named Set, Non-Hardware Subcategories, as a filter to our existing cube, and are therefore defining a subcube. This is one example of a use for a Named Set; it allows us to confirm that the Named Set operates as we expected. Within the data presented, we now see only the Accessories and Clothing categories, which we defined within the Named Set.

19.  Select File --> Save All to save our work in the foregoing steps.

20.  Select File --> Exit to leave the BI Development Studio, when ready.

And so, we see that, while the related concepts are similar between Analysis Services 2005 and its predecessor, the process of defining Named Sets in Analysis Services 2005 is different. There are also other approaches to doing so, which we will examine within relevant contexts we explore in prospective articles, along with myriad possibilities for leveraging the power of Named Sets to support business intelligence in our daily environments.

Conclusion

In this article, we examined Named Sets in the Analysis Services 2005 environment, discussing the concepts surrounding their use and ways that we can leverage them within Analysis Services for analysis and reporting purposes. After our introductory examination, we prepared for a hands-on session by creating a clone Analysis Services Database in SQL Server Management Studio to provide an environment whereby we could work while preserving the original Adventure Works DW sample database for use within the tutorials and other exercises that ship with MSSQL Server 2005 and its component applications.

Once we had created a clone Analysis Services Database, we accessed it in Business Intelligence Development Studio and began the procedures of our practice exercise. We created a Named Set within an Analysis Services 2005 cube, based upon a straightforward business requirement, discussing the steps involved and other considerations. We then verified the operation of our new Named Set by performing a browse of the cube.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MDX Topics Forum.

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