Shows users and developers how to use MDX to effectively to provide relevant business information.
OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) is the most powerful Business Intelligence tool currently available and Microsoft's Analysis Manager makes OLAP cubes incredibly easy to build and deploy. However the real power of OLAP lies in its ability to help you solve real-life business problems; to release that power you need to use the language that controls the cubes and allows them to be queried. That language is MDX (Multi Dimensional eXpressions).
Fast Track to MDX gives you all the necessary background to let you to write useful, powerful MDX expressions and introduces the most frequently used MDX functions and constructs. No prior knowledge is assumed and examples are used throughout the book to rapidly develop your MDX skills to the point where you can solve real business problems.
Mark Whitehorn, co-author of the best-selling Inside Relational Databases, is renowned for his knowledge of database systems and the lucidity of his writing. Robert Zare is a Program Manager for Analysis Services at Microsoft: his inspiring talks on MDX sowed the seeds from which this book grew. Mosha Pasumansky was one of the authors of the OLEDB for OLAP specification that defined the MDX language and later he was the developer in charge of the first implementation of MDX in the Microsoft OLAP Services 7.0 product. He is currently the development lead of the Analysis Services engine team.
Second Edition – It was the clarity, precision and sheer readability of the first edition that made it a best-seller. With that firmly in mind the authors have left the original 18 chapters intact (apart from minor updates); meaning that the second edition remains the best introduction to MDX that is available. What they have done is to add three brand new chapters. These introduce the topic of recursion in MDX, walk the reader through the process of creating recursive expressions and finally demonstrate how recursion can be used to effectively solve a series of business problems.
Forward by Amir Netz, Product Unit Manager, SQL Server – Analysis Services at Microsoft.
FastTrack is totally different, it doesn’t list every MDX function and it doesn’t contain everything you need to know about MDX. What it does do is to assume that you don’t know anything about MDX and explains from the ground up what the language is for and how to use it. In order to explain the ins and outs it introduces a whole range of real business problems and shows you how to solve them, in each case, you get real sample code that really works. It’s fabulous. You learn about the language in the most natural way, by using it to solve problems. It also explains, in a very readable way, all the background stuff that turns out to be crucial, like the differences between sets and tuples. I bought Spoffords book first and just couldn’t get anywhere with MDX. Having read Fast Track, I truly understand how the language works and can now understand Spoffords book.
If you have the money, buy both books. If you can already use MDX, buy Spoffords.
If you are new to MDX, buy FastTrack to MDX.
I was expecting the definitive book given who the authors are and this is not the case.
It has some significant gaps such as how you would use MDX to define calculations within a cube, how the calculations interact and there is no function reference section.
Connection parameters which can govern a lot of what you see from the front end are not covered. Infact, this is not really a reference book and I could not imagine picking it up having read it once (if I ever got to the end of it).
This is the 'ladybird book of MDX' and is not something which will assist a Developer / DBA as it says in the blurb.
If you really want it buy a used copy - It may be mine !