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2 Business Intelligence Tools in Microsoft SQL Server | DMX | MDX

Updated on October 20, 2011
What are Business Intelligence tools in SQL Server. This is a review of the different Editors that can be used to build Business Intelligence solutions with Microsoft's SQL Server.

MDX Query Editor

The MDX Query Editor is used to design and develop multidimensional queries (Olap) with the MDX query language. That is saying a lot and nothing. First MDX is a programming language for multidensional or olap queries. The language was developed by a group of SQL engineers at Microsoft and quickly became an integral part of the OLE DB for Olap.

MDX  is also a calculation language. Its syntax can often resembles spreadsheet formulas and other times it could be mistaken for SQL. The MDX is a close cousing to SQL but much more powerful. It has been adopted by most of the leading B.I. plateforms including Oracle, SAP, BusinessObjects and MicroStrategy.

To access the MDX Query Editor you first need to login to the SQL Server Analysis Services through the SSMS. Of course SSAS also has to be installed.

A sample MDX query would look like this:

SELECT
   { [Gather].[Product Sales] } ON COLUMNS,
   { [Region].[USA], [Date].[2011] } ON ROWS
FROM ProductSales
WHERE ( [Country].[USA] )

DMX Query Editor

DMX is a Data Mining language in SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS). The editor is used to design and develop query to extract meaning from the data. AS the MDX Query Editor, the DMX editor is also accessible from SSMS when you connect to the Analysis Services.

The OLE DB for Data Mining specification was first introduced with SQL Server 2000. Since then it has been expanded. DMX has its own functions but its syntax, like MDX, ressembles SQL.

Here is a sample

SELECT Predict ([Sales].[v sales Seq Line Items], INCLUDE_STATISTICS, 10)
FROM 
     [Sales]
NATURAL PREDICTION JOIN
SELECT (SELECT 'sku''s Mountain bikes' as [bikes]) AS [v Assoc Seq Line Items]) AS skuItems

XMLA Query Editor

XML For Analysis (XMLA), strictly speaking, is not a query language like MDX and DMX, it is an API to allow queries on OLAP databases using standard web based protocols like SOAP, HTTP and of course XML.

This technology is supported by most leading BI vendors and has broad industry support. This technology allows developers to interface/query OLAP datasources from their applications (web, mobile, desktop). XMLA uses MDX as a query language to create queries.

In SQL Server Analysis Services, XMLA enjoys excellent support. A Query Editor is available through SSAS to create and publish.

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