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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2009
I have read several other texts and I can say that none of them were complete. Some texts had good theory but lacked database sample where you could run the exact same queries, verify results and tinker a little to gain understanding. This book not only comes with a sample database (relational and dimensional), the queries and the databases actually match 100%. Learning Sql or MDX is like learning mathematics - you can't learn it just by reading, exercising the skills is essential.

Step-by-step is very effective approach for new comers so basically this book is ideal for beginners. At the same time it gives you enough details to be an advance user. This book is not for people with MDX skills already under their belt and looking for a reference book. They will be bored with simplistic approach used for beginners. I have been waiting for this book for months and I am not disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2009
Brian and Ryan presented a very simple and literally step by step way to understand the fundamental syntax of MDX. In addition, the examples are good starting points to be adventurous and to try other stuff. The chapters are arranged in a very logical manner. Each chapter builds upon the knowledge picked-up from the previous one.
However, do not let Chapter 1 discourage you from continuing to explore the rest of the book. The attempt to present the wealth of business intelligence, dimensional model and data warehouse terms and structure may get to be confusing. I agree with them when they wrote that a familiarity of the concept of data warehousing is recommended. To better appreciate the whole exercise of learning MDX, a basic knowledge of Analysis Services will go a long way.

Lastly, finishing the book with a chapter on using MDX with reporting services shows the main purpose of learning MDX in the first place, provide meaningful information to the end users in a format they will appreciate.

Eldred Rivera, MCT
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If you are a beginner to intermediate MDX person, then I can't think of any better book on the subject. Don't let the "step-by-step" label misguide you into believing this book is only for the beginners. This book covers from the simple to the complex MDX queries.

The book deals from the very basic "Select { } on columns, { } on rows from [Cube]" to using Expressions, Aggregation, and navigating the hierarchies. You will learn to use all MDX keywords, functions, and syntax structures.

I would not recommend this book as a first book on SQL BI (I like Brian Larson's "Delivering Business Intelligence"). Rather, this book should be an important supplement to anyone's SQL BI knowledge. Although SQL 2008 provides a handy GUI to build a MDX queries on an existing cube, it is not a good substitute for complex MDX queries. Trust me, when the pressure is on, and the senior management wants to get key information in a hurry, understanding MDX well can save you a lot of stress and reduce the blame game so prevalent in IT.

If you are never going to use MDX, I would question the need to build and process Cubes (also called Data Mart) all together. If you have a solidly designed Data Warehouse and a well functioning ETL process, you can just query the DW using SQL for most of the information you would need. But MDX releases the potential of the Cube and makes the entire SQL BI, and the Cube in particular, far more valuable and usable.

MDX is used across multiple Business Intelligence platforms. Even if you do not plan to exclusively use SQL BI, this book will help you to understand MDX that you can apply to, let's say, Microstrategy and SAS.

This book also comes with a CD that provides sample SQL BI Development Project and a corresponding Data Warehouse database.

If you want a well written, highly structured, and clear explanations of MDX from simple to complex, then this book is the right book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2010
I tried several other books on MDX, and for beginner, this is head and shoulders above the rest. There are some issues with installing samples from CD, but once you past that, it's a smooth sailing. I went through the book literally step by step, and it worked well for me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2009
It's SQL Server 2008 MDX Step by Step and it delivers what you need to get your teeth into MDX. In the way most Step by Step books from Microsoft Press do, but I probably wouldn't recommend the book to people already fluent with MDX.
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on December 24, 2014
Having read several SSAS books - including the explicitly-MDX-focused one by Li and Piasevoli - and a lot of TechNet pages, I just about gave up on finding a proper MDX reference, and was resigned to living with a multitude of unresolved MDX questions - and then saw this book. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Messrs. Smith and Clay - you did a great job, and this is the easiest five-stars call in my Amazon-reviewer career.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2009
This book is good start for new learner. However, if u looking of optimization and very tricky situation, this may not suite you.
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on May 7, 2015
Old but good
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2009
This book is meant to follow examples step-by-step, which means the sample databases have to be installed first. The instruction tells you to take the CD, and install two samples. It goes in great detail explaining that C:drive letter may need to be changed to D: (repeated 4 times), but it does not give you a slightest hint that different processes of SQL Server use different autentication regardless of your login name, and you need to give these permissions to the sample source files.
After spending several hours googling and experimenting, I got thru with permissions; fixed the problem with the log file (the only one mentioned on-line for book support), managed to load the first database, and got stuck with all kind of error messages loading the analysis services database.
Without the source code the only option was to send an email to Microsoft Support team. All I got back is auto-reply, so instead of studying the new language I spend days waiting.
Unless you are a SQL Server DBA who loves debugging for fun, pick something else.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
I wasn't expecting the book still be wrapped up in cover. I am happy to have bought this book from the seller.
I would not hesitate to buy other books from the seller in future.
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