MDX: Revving Up Engines

So you want to learn MDX? We have something in common then!

Whilst preparing for an exam requiring decent MDX skills, I started wondering if I really had them. I mean, I know more or less how to write MDX but do I really know MDX? As the saying goes, you only really know something once you can explain it to a six year-old. Now while I doubt there are that many six year-olds assigning a higher priority to learning MDX than running around in the playground, I do find value in the premise.

So I thought, why not do a series on MDX? Well, here it goes.

What am I going to see?

Over the next pumpkins, I’m going to explore the fundamentals of the MDX language, step by step, trying to make it as easy as possible to understand. I will go through themes such as:

  • What is MDX anyway?
  • What is the purpose of MDX?
  • How is MDX used out there?
  • What concepts stand behind MDX?
  • What specific terms does MDX use?
  • How do I write queries in MDX?
  • How do I write funky queries in MDX?
  • How do I write even more funky queries in MDX?

This is only the start, so I’m going to come back to this post and make it clearer as the series grows.

What do I need to know?

While my intent is to learn MDX well enough to be able to explain it clearly to a six year-old, I will have to assume that six year-old already has basic working knowledge of some technologies, namely:

  • Client/Server Architecture
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • T-SQL
  • Microsoft Analysis Services (though not MDX)
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Pumpkins

Kidding about the Pumpkins.

Seriously though, if you have or know of a six year-old who already knows all of this stuff, consider giving a ring to the nearest NASA or CERN centers. That or consider giving him a football, that might be a good idea too.


So how about you? Are you learning MDX too? What is your biggest head-scratch? Or are you already an MDX master? If so, what challenges did you overcome?

Next Pumpkin: What Is MDX?
Pumpkin Index: Learn / MDX

Photo by Daniel Sjöström is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


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