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MDX Solutions: With Microsoft® SQL Server™ Analysis Services 2005 and Hyperion® Essbase, Second Edition by Francesco Civardi, Dylan Hai Huang, Christopher Webb, Sivakumar Harinath, George Spofford

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Chapter 14. Enriching the Client Interaction

In addition to normal MDX queries, OLAP-based systems usually support some advanced user interactions with OLAP objects such as cubes, dimension members, and cells. This chapter will discuss drill-through, action, and KPI support of Analysis Services 2005.

OLAP-based systems are usually intermediaries—they draw on detailed data that was collected from various operations, and supply results that are used in making decisions. Frequently, we would like them to extend their reach a little bit in both directions, so that we may see the raw data that they derived their results from and to help us implement the actions that their results suggest. Enabling these two possibilities is the subject of this chapter, and for Microsoft these are provided by drill-through and actions. Drill-through is an industry-standard term for reaching into the underlying fact table records for a cell or cells in an OLAP system.

An action is a term created by Microsoft and used in the OLE DB for OLAP specification. It refers to a textual command that can be generated by the OLAP database for use in an arbitrary application, for example to implement a decision.

KPIs (key performance indicators) are frequently used in business performance management systems. Analysis Services 2005 provides a framework for categorizing the KPI MDX expressions into a set of predefined data roles (actual, goal, trend, status, and the like). Quantitive KPIs are managed via MDX expressions. ...

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