Lesson 6: Defining Calculations

In this lesson, you learn to define calculations, which are Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) expressions or scripts. Calculations let you define calculated members, named sets, and execute other script commands to extend the capabilities of a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) cube. For example, you can run a script command to define a subcube and then assign a calculation to the cells in the subcube.

When you define a new calculation in Cube Designer, the calculation is added to the Script Organizer pane of the Calculations tab of Cube Designer, and the fields for the particular calculation type are displayed in a calculations form in the Calculation Expressions pane. Calculations are executed in the order in which they are listed in the Script Organizer pane. You can reorder the calculations by right-clicking on a particular calculation and then selecting Move Up or Move Down, or by clicking a particular calculation and then using the Move Up or Move Down icons on the toolbar of the Calculations tab.

On the Calculations tab, you can add new calculations and view or edit existing calculations in one of two views in the Calculation Expressions pane:

  • Form view. This view shows the expressions and properties for a single command in a graphical format. When you edit an MDX script, an expression box fills the Form view.
  • Script view. This view displays all calculation scripts in a code editor, which lets you easily change the calculation scripts. When the Calculation Expressions pane is in Script view, the Script Organizer is hidden. The Script view provides color coding, parenthesis matching, auto-complete, and MDX code regions. You can expand or collapse the MDX code regions to make editing easier.

To switch between these views in the Calculation Expressions pane, click Form View or Script View on the toolbar of the Calculations tab.


If Analysis Services detects a syntax error in any calculation, the Form view will not display until the error is corrected in the Script view.

You can also use the Business Intelligence Wizard to add certain calculations to a cube. For example, you can use this wizard to add time intelligence to a cube, which means defining calculated members for time-related calculations such as period-to-date, moving averages, or period over period growth. For more information, see Defining Time Intelligence Calculations using the Business Intelligence Wizard.


On the Calculations tab, the calculation script starts with the CALCULATE command. The CALCULATE command controls the aggregation of the cells in the cube and you should edit this command only if you intend to manually specify how the cube cells should be aggregated.

For more information, see Calculations, and Defining and Configuring a Calculation.


A completed project through Lesson 5 is available by downloading and installing the updated samples. For more information, see Obtaining Updated Samples in Installing Samples.

This lesson contains the following tasks:

Next Lesson

Lesson 7: Defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

See Also


Analysis Services Tutorial Scenario
SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Tutorial

Other Resources

Defining a Named Set
Defining a Calculated Member

Help and Information

Getting SQL Server 2005 Assistance