I was having an interesting discussion with a few people about the impact of named sets on performance (the same discussion noted by Chris Webb here: http://cwebbbi.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/referencing-named-sets-in-calculations). And apparently the core of the performance issue comes down to the way named sets are materialized within the SSAS engine. Which lead me to the thought that what we really need is a syntax for declaring a non-materialized set or to take this even further a way of declaring an MDX expression as function or macro so that it can be re-used in multiple places. Because sometimes you do want the set materialised, such as when you use an ordered set for calculating rankings. But a lot of the time we just want to make our MDX modular and want to avoid having to repeat the same code over and over.

I did some searches on connect and could not find any similar suggestions so I posted one here: https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/651646/mdx-macro-or-function-syntax

Although apparently I did not search quite hard enough as Chris Webb made a similar suggestion some time ago, although he also included a request for true MDX stored procedures (not the .Net style stored procs that we have at the moment): https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/473694/create-parameterised-queries-and-functions-on-the-server

Chris also pointed out this post that he did last year http://cwebbbi.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/iccube/ where he pointed out that the icCube product already has this sort of functionality.

So if you think either or both of these suggestions is a good idea then I would encourage you to click on the links and vote for them.


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I am a consultant, based in Melbourne Australia. I primarily work in the Business Intelligence area with SQL Server, although I also dabble in Content Management Server and .Net coding

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