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Returning MDX query results in an Excel matrix formula

07.10.2008 Hilmar Buchta

SQL Server 2005 | SQL Server 2008

In my last post I had an example for a function  to return a single value from an MDX query which has certain performance drawbacks when being used in many Excel fields.

Since Excel supports matrix formulas to do a computation on multiple values, this can also be used for MDX query results. Another benefit for this approach is, that dimension members that are added later on, are also displayed in the query result.

Before I post the function code, here’s the result. For my test, I used this MDX query on the Adventure Works cube:

  1. SELECT
  2.   {
  3.     [Measures].[Internet Sales Amount],
  4.     [Measures].[Internet Order Quantity],
  5.     [Measures].[Internet Gross Profit]
  6.   } ON 0,
  7.   [Product].[Category].[Category] ON 1
  8. FROM [Adventure Works]

The result, when being called from SQL Server Management Studio, looks like this:

image

The following screenshot shows how this result looks like in Excel using the matrix MDX formula:

image

Now, what are the #N/A entries about? The matrix formula measures the size of the resulting cell area and returns a two dimensional array of exactly that size. When entering the formula I chose a larger area on the worksheet in order to be prepared for additional entries on both axes. Of course you could think of returning a larger matrix from the function in order to properly fill out the unused cell. The best approach would be to supply width and height as parameters.

So, this is how the formula is to be entered:

image

Be sure to press CTRL+ALT+ENTER when entering the formula in order to turn it into a matrix formula.

The MDXGetMDX function takes five parameters:

Parameter Description Example
Server Hostname of the SSAS server localhost
InitalCatalog Name of the SSAS database Adventure Works DW
Cube Name of the SSAS cube Adventure Works
mdx MDX code of the query select … on 0,
… on 1
from cubename
WithCaption When true, captions are printed true

Finally, here’s the code I used for the MDGetMDX(…) function:

  1. Function MDGetMDX(Server As String, InitialCatalog As String, Cube As String, mdx As String, WithCaption As Boolean) As Variant
  2.     On Error GoTo errorhandler:
  3.     Dim cset As New ADOMD.Cellset
  4.     Dim conn As New ADODB.connection
  5.     Dim x As Variant
  6.     Dim i As Integer, j As Integer
  7.     Dim i0 As Integer, j0 As Integer ‚ begin of the data area      
  8.     Dim i1 As Integer, j1 As Integer ‚ size of the data area      
  9.     conn.Open „Data Source=“ & Server & „;Provider=MSOLAP;Initial Catalog=“ & CatalogName & „“ & InitialCatalog & „“
  10.     cset.Open mdx, conn
  11.     If cset.Axes.Count > 2 Then
  12.         MDGetMDX = „More than 2 axes are not allowed!“
  13.         Exit Function
  14.     End If
  15.     If cset.Axes.Count > 0 Then i1 = cset.Axes(0).Positions.Count Else j1 = 0
  16.     If cset.Axes.Count > 1 Then j1 = cset.Axes(1).Positions.Count Else j1 = 0
  17.     If WithCaption Then
  18.         ‚ column headings are displayed as rows      
  19.         If cset.Axes.Count > 1 Then i0 = cset.Axes(1).DimensionCount Else i0 = 0
  20.         ‚ row headings are displayed as columns      
  21.         If cset.Axes.Count > 0 Then j0 = cset.Axes(0).DimensionCount Else j0 = 0
  22.     Else
  23.         i0 = 0
  24. Function nz(x As Variant, other As Variant) As Variant
  25.     If Not IsNull(x) Then
  26.         nz = x
  27.     Else
  28.         nz = other
  29.     End If
  30. End Function
  31.         j0 = 0
  32.     End If
  33.     If cset.Axes.Count = 2 Then
  34.         ReDim x(j0 + j1 1, i0 + i1 1)
  35.     ElseIf cset.Axes.Count = 1 Then
  36.         ReDim x(j0, i0 + i1 1)
  37.     Else
  38.         ReDim x(1, 1)
  39.     End If
  40.     For i = 0 To UBound(x, 2)
  41.         For j = 0 To UBound(x, 1)
  42.             x(j, i) = „“
  43.         Next
  44.     Next
  45.     ‚ Show caption:      
  46.     If WithCaption Then
  47.         For i = 0 To i1 1
  48.             For j = 0 To cset.Axes(0).Positions(i).Members.Count 1
  49.                 x(j, i + i0) = cset.Axes(0).Positions(i).Members(j).Caption
  50.             Next
  51.         Next
  52.         For j = 0 To j1 1
  53.             For i = 0 To cset.Axes(1).Positions(j).Members.Count 1
  54.                x(j + j0, i) = cset.Axes(1).Positions(j).Members(i).Caption
  55.             Next
  56.         Next
  57.     End If
  58.     If cset.Axes.Count = 2 Then
  59.         For i = 0 To i1 1
  60.             For j = 0 To j1 1
  61.                 x(j + j0, i + i0) = nz(cset(i, j).Value, 0)
  62.             Next
  63.         Next
  64.     ElseIf cset.Axes.Count = 1 Then
  65.         For i = 0 To i1 1
  66.             x(j0, i + i0) = nz(cset(i).Value, „“)
  67.         Next
  68.     Else
  69.         x(0, 0) = cset(0).Value
  70.     End If
  71.     MDGetMDX = x
  72.     cset.Close
  73.     conn.Close
  74.     Exit Function
  75. errorhandler:
  76.     MDGetMDX = Err.Description
  77. End Function

 

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