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Professional SQL Server™ Analysis Services 2005 with MDX by Stephen R. Quinn, Sivakumar Harinath

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3.2. Fundamental Concepts

The cube is the foundation of a multidimensional database. Each cube typically contains more than two dimensions. The Adventure Works cube in the sample database contains 21 dimensions. The Adventure Works sample project and relational database need to be selected explicitly during installation from Documents, Samples, and Sample Databases. Using BIDS open the sample Adventure Works project from Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Samples\AdventureWorks Analysis Services Project\Enterprise and deploy it to your Analysis Services instance. If you open the Adventure Works cube in BIDS you can see the measures and dimensions that make up the Adventure Works cube in the Cube Structure tab as shown in Figure 3-1.

The Measures object is basically a special dimension of the cube which is a collection of measures. Measures are quantitative entities which are used for analysis. Each measure is part of an entity called a measure group. Measure Groups are collections of related measures and each measure can only be part of a single measure group. Often you will want to have one measure group for each fact table in your data warehouse. Measure groups are primarily used for navigational purposes by design tools or client tools to have better readability or ease of use for end users. They are never used in MDX queries while querying measures. However, they can be used in certain MDX functions which, by the way, you will see in this chapter and in Chapter 7 ...

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