Data Warehousing and Data Science

13 September 2013

Sherry Li and Tomislav’s 2012 MDX Cook Book

Filed under: Analysis Services — Vincent Rainardi @ 6:56 am

Here’s the link to the book:, at Packt.

I must say that the 2012 version gives more clarity than the 2008. Working with sets such as NOT IN, OR and iterating are now put into a separate chapter. I’m a bit disappointed that chapter 7 (context-aware calculations) were removed from the new version. I found it very useful, because they contained stuff related to the result of MDX queries, for example finding out the number of rows that the query will return.

As before, to try the examples in this book we need to have 2012’s Adventure Works cube (Multidimensional Models). Most of the samples work with 2008’s Adventure Work cube, just need to replace put back the years by 5 years, i.e. 2002 instead of 2007.

This 2012 version is a bit shorter than the 2008 version. The 2012 is 396 pages where as the 2008 is 447. But it really doesn’t matter.

Overall, like the 2008 version, this book provides a practical way to learn MDX. In my opinion it is the right way to learn, i.e. by examples. Learning by example is faster than learning by theory. On every technique, the book provides a bit of concept, then the example, showing how it is used in practice. This practical bit is such valuable because it enables us to use it. We just need to replace it with our own case. Hence this book can also be used a  reference book, particularly for those of us who already working in MDX. Sometimes we forgets. Sometimes we don’t know. Whichever the case, we can just look it up to quickly understand it. And apply it in our projects.

The content of this book is 80% the same as the 2008 version. So if you have 2008 version already, not worth buying this book. But, most people start with 2012 these days, so for them they should buy this book (they can’t use the 2008 version. Well they can, but they shouldn’t).

Overall, this “2012 edition” builds on what is already a very good book. The 2008 edition was reviewed by world top 20 SSAS specialists: Greg Galloway, Darren Gosbell, Deepak Puri, Marco Russo, Chris Webb. Like Tomislav, they are all renown MDX experts. See Who’s Who in SSAS (link).

Congratulations to Sherry Li on her first MS BI book. And of course to Tomislav, whose MDX skill is among the highest in the world. And to Prakash Chatla and Jeremy Kashel; their vast experience in DWBI makes it a better book. This book really make a difference to an MDX developer, as it provides a path to directly solves the problem they are facing in the project. This book should be in the laptop / tablet of every SSAS developer who wants to understand MDX (who doesn’t?).

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