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MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Cookbook Paperback – Jul 1 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 459 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (July 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849681309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849681308
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 821 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #209,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I am always trying to keep my MDX and Analysis Services skills up-to-date and so I am always looking for new books that cover those topics. Recently I came across Tomislav Piasevoli's new "MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Cookbook". When I read the first chapters I realized very fast, that book has great potential for all kinds SSAS/MDX developer. For beginners the examples provided are easy to follow and very well described and the fact that he focused on real world scenarios makes the entry into the multidimensional world very intuitive. Beginners will have many quick wins as they can simply copy the examples and adopt them to their cube which I think is the best way to start with MDX. Advanced developers will like the additional information he provides for all examples. He describes pros and cons of several implementations and used techniques especially in terms of performance and usability. The best practices he provides thereby are also good guidelines for beginners and will prevent them from making very common mistakes every developer had to struggle with in the beginning. Even experts that have been working with MDX and Analysis for several years now and consider themselves to have very good skills in both domains, I think will still benefit from reading this book. It is always interesting to see, how other people solve common business requirements to broaden one's mind. If you are developing BI solutions every day it is very likely that you stop thinking about your own solution in detail very fast and will be implementing the same solution over and over again even though there may be better solutions out there. Tomislav highlights many of those solutions and shares them with this book.

In general the book is very well structured.
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By tlachev on Oct. 28 2011
Format: Paperback
MDX is the query language for multidimensional cubes. Many BI practitioners perceive MDX to have a high learning curve probably not that much for the language itself but for the multidimensional concepts you need to master before you can get something out of it. When interacting with the community, I am frequently asked to recommend a MDX book. So far, my recommendations have been Microsoft SQL Server 2008 MDX Step by Step by Brian Smith at el for beginners and MDX Solutions by George Spofford at el for more advanced users.

I will add MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Cookbook by Tomislav Piasevoli (MVP - SQL Server) to my recommendation list. This book takes an interesting approach that will be particularly appealing to readers who have already mastered the basics. As its name suggests, the book is a collection of recipes that you can quickly refer to when you tackle a specific MDX requirement. For example, suppose you need to obtain the last date with data in the cube. You flip to Chapter 2: Working with Time and you find a section Getting Values on The Last Date With Data. In it, the author provides the necessary background to explain the concept and provides a 9-step recipe for implementing it. Besides its practical and concise style, another thing that I liked about this book is that it targets the Adventure Works cube so you don't have to spend time installing and learning other databases. You can hit the ground running by just copying and executing the query.

All in all, this is great book to add to your repertoire of Analysis Services books. The author is an industry-recognized expert who has many years of experience in developing BI solutions with Analysis Services and this becomes evident quickly. Get the recipes!
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Format: Paperback
There are not many MDX books available, so when a new one arrives on the market, I definitely want to take a look. Now I have taught MDX classes for many years, and I think perhaps my first class was in 2002. However, it's been so long now, I don't recall exactly when that first class was. What I do know is that my understanding of MDX and my fluency with the language has grown by leaps and bounds since then through experience with all kinds of bleeding edge MDX, and I have tried to communicate some of my insights developed along the way to students in my classroom. MDX concepts can stretch your thinking (to put it mildly), and more so if you have to unlearn SQL concepts as well, which is true of the majority of my students. As a native English speaker, I can find it challenging at times to explain certain aspects of MDX. For all these reasons, I can fully appreciate Tomislav's efforts to create this book and commend him for his excellent examples and explanations using a language that is not his mother tongue.

Tomislav's book is definitely not for beginners. There is an underlying assumption that you already have some familiarity with the basics of MDX. The purpose of this book is to provide you with the tools necessary to continue building your skills. The chapters group together a series of related concepts, called recipes. You don't need to read the book sequentially from cover to cover. Instead, you search for the desired outcome, such as handling division by zero errors (described in Chapter 1) or calculating row numbers (found in Chapter 7). Ideally, you don't just read the recipe, but actually try out the steps yourself. I did some of my reading of this book when I was away from my laptop, and frequently found that I wanted to try out something that Tomislav mentioned.
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