Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence

1 September 2011

Tomislav’s MDX Book

Filed under: Analysis Services,MDX — Vincent Rainardi @ 11:15 pm
Tags: ,

I met Tomislav Piasevoli for the first time in Manchester in 2009 at SQLBits conference. I attended at his Advanced MDX session and said to him afterwards that his MDX skill was one of the highest in the world.

Last month his new MDX book was published, titled MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services: Cookbook. I am amazed by this book because of how it is structured, as well as the quality of the content. It contains 80 problems. Each problem is described in problem-solution-explanation format.

To me this format is ideal. This is how people should learn. It is always easier to learn by example, rather than by theory. I think all IT forums should have this format, i.e. after 2 years of people asking and answering questions, the moderator should package up the knowledge in the problem-solution-explanation format. I’m sure this FAQ section will answer 90% of the questions in that forum.

We are all so lucky that Tomislav has done this for us in MDX. I wish somebody else do the same in AS, IS, RS, SQL and all other areas of DWBI. The “cook book” format is spot on!

The book contains extremely useful stuff. You only need to look at the table of content to see how useful this book is. From the basic, everyday problem to very advanced ones, they are all there. Date calculations, formatting, navigation, DMVs, context-aware, they are all there. This is a book that provides a guiding hand to SSAS developers. I think all SSAS developers need to have this book inside their laptop, iPad or mobile phone*. It will help us solve most of the MDX problems in our work. Essentially, this book contains the code that you need to type into your cubes.

*or on their desks, for those who still use paper version. For this book the electronic version is better, because you can search your problem and quickly find the solution. Very handy when you have to finish the cube tomorrow!

I need to emphasise that we are very lucky Tomislav spent a lot of his time writing this book. Not many people in the world have the required level of skill to do it. As I said in the beginning, Tomislav’s MDX skill is one of the highest in the world, along with people like Chris Webb, Greg Galloway, Deepak Puri, Darren Gosbell, and Marco Russo, all of whom are the reviewers of this book. If top people like them spend their precious time writing and reviewing this book, those of us who work on MDX should read it! It is a real treasure.

This is my favourite MDX book. Thank you Tomislav for writing it.

Vincent Rainardi, 2/9/2011.

Link to the book’s page on publisher’s web site: http://link.packtpub.com/UUrJM6

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