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MDX Solutions: With Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 1st Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471400462
ISBN-10: 0471400467
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A thorough tutorial and detailed reference to the analytical language of data warehousing

Understanding MDX is crucial for anyone designing or implementing a database in Microsoft's products. This informative book serves as both a tutorial and a reference guide by teaching you how to use MDX to access and analyze data for decision support. The standard language and Microsoft's own extensive additions to MDX are thoroughly explained. After the overview of the MDX language is presented, the author plunges into the tutorial, offering practical examples of MDX in use. He shows various techniques using MDX to access data and calculate results, and covers the more advanced techniques of aggregation, query templates, and MDX optimization.

This unrivaled book includes:
* Explanations of each MDX feature
* Simple and sophisticated applications
* Details of building and executing MDX queries
* Introduction to Visual Basic programming techniques using MDX
* Instructions for building and using client-side local cubes
* Detailed reference appendices for MDX operators, functions, and related connection settings

The accompanying CD-ROM includes:
* Samples of MDX expressions, queries, and local cubes
* MDXBuilder trial software
* Visual Basic sample code

Wiley Computer Publishing
Timely. Practical. Reliable.
Visit our Web site at www.wiley.com/compbooks/

About the Author

GEORGE SPOFFORD (george@dsslab.com) is Chief Architect of the DSS Lab, where he is a consultant and software engineer specializing in design, implementation, and evaluation of OLAP-based DSS systems and related tools. He coauthored Microsoft OLAP Solutions (also from Wiley) and has extensive experience applying Microsoft's analysis tools. Working on OLAP technologies since 1988, he has also developed OLAP clients and servers, including Power Thinking Tools' FreeThink. He earned a Microsoft MVP award for his contributions to the OLAP user community.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471400467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471400462
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,334,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Let us begin by acknowledging that MDX is a nontrivial topic. With SQL Server 2000 and Analysis Services, Microsoft is providing arguably the most powerful OLAP solution at perhaps the lowest price. But with power comes complexity. Much of this complexity is to be found in the OLAP query language: MDX. Developers will welcome any assistance in climbing this learning curve, and Spofford's book was quick to fill this gap.
This is a thick book, and it is not padded with screenshots of wizards. More than half of the book deals with the syntax and semantics of MDX. It provides a new OLAP sample database for those of us tired of playing with "Foodmart". There are also chapters on local cubes and client programming in ADO. The last quarter of the book is reference material. The MDX function and operator reference in Appendix A includes easily comprehended graphical explanations of function behaviors.
This is not a book geared towards administrators or end users or casual developers. Expect to sweat the details here and to do so from chapter 1. This is a book to read at your computer as you learn the power of MDX by running the examples queries. This author's experience is apparent in the examples, which demonstrate real-world OLAP use cases. Examples range from simple to sophisticated, so this book will useful to both intermediate and advanced MDX programmers.
One weakness of the book is that, since it was written prior to the final release of Analysis Services, there may be some inconsistencies. But the book's web site should post updates and corrections. Also, the book mentions but does not cover the XML for Analysis technology that was released by Microsoft last month (July). XML for Analysis allows SQL Server tables and cubes to be queried using SOAP and XML.
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By Homam on October 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is very helpful in mastering MDX and unleashing its potential after you finish studying Analysis Services architectural components from other sources. The author demonstrates good knowledge and expertise in the subject and provides very helpful examples and interesting implementations. The illustrations in the book also make understanding MDX easier, since MDX, like XPath, has some concepts like hierarchies and context that are best understood by visualization.
However, his writing style is very parenthetical and rife with interludes, which is sometimes irksome and disrupt a smooth flow of ideas.
Buy it if you're building a non-trivial UI for Analysis Services or asked to generate sophisticated reports. Understanding how MDX works will also improve your OLAP designing skills.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't be surprised by the bad reviews this book has got here. There is a good reason for that. This is a strong text that deserved a good reviewer or a talented co-author.

Whereas some simple subjects are given a lot of attention, many examples and concepts are simply not explained enough or well.

The appendix is not used as a reference but as a part of the text, which is highly unusual. To understand the text, the reader must often search the appendix for five different definitions or more. The author usually avoids to explain what is in the appendix. What should be a reference becomes an essential part.

Complex concepts are given little explanation. The other existing book on MDX ("Fast Track to MDX") is incomplete, very short and superficial. This one book could fill a major gap. The text is insightful. Yet it does not use its potential at all. It makes a real pain of what could be a true pleasure.

There is simply no good book on MDX in the market. What is very unfortunate is that this book could have been an outstanding piece of work, a reference for understanding and use of MDX, but its main goals are largerly diluted and wasted in the way the book was written. A real shame. A major revison is not only due but deserved and urgent. I hope the author and the publisher do get the point.
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Format: Paperback
The book provides an excellent tutorial & reference to MDX which is today's default lingua franca as OLAP query language. George does a great job in bringing home MDX and developing solutions using MDX. I recommend this book and also the other title from George & Erik Thomsen on Microsoft OLAP solutions which is as well a excellent book on building OLAP solutions with Microsoft Analysis Services. The other salient feature I wish to emphasise is the author - George Spofford as been kind enough to answer email queries from readers on the subject matter. Erik Thomsen and George Spofford are gurus in the Microsoft Analysis Services. The best thing I found about the book was the authors not only bring out the strengths of analysis services but also its limitations. This helps somebody embarking on implementing analysis services be aware of its limitations and workaround those limitations. In all I give 5 stars for the book there are not many honest authors out there. My only request to the authors is now since the next release of Microsoft SQL Server - Yukon is due for release is next 3 months and Yukon will be another major landmark in SQL Server and Analysis Services technology with several major features slated to debut in Yukon it would be highly appreciated if the authors post appendix chapters on new Yukon features as and when it comes on their web site which will be a great benefit to existing owners of their books.
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