Extended Field Properties for an Analysis Services Database (SSRS)

The SQL Server Analysis Services data processing extension supports extended field properties. Extended field properties are properties in addition to the field properties Value and IsMissing that are available on the data source and supported by the data processing extension. Extended properties do not appear in the Report Data pane as part of the field collection for a report dataset. You can include extended field property values in your report by writing expressions that specify them by name using the built-in Fields collection.

Extended properties include predefined properties and custom properties. Predefined properties are properties common to multiple data sources that are mapped to specific field property names and can be accessed through the built-in Fields collection by name. Custom properties are specific to each data provider and can be accessed through the built-in Fields collection only through syntax using the extended property name as a string.

When you use the Analysis Services MDX query designer in graphical mode to define your query, a predefined set of cell properties and dimension properties are automatically added to the MDX query. You can only use extended properties that are specifically listed in the MDX query in your report. Depending on your report, you may want to modify the default MDX command text to include other dimension or custom properties defined in the cube. For more information about extended fields available in Analysis Services data sources, see Creating and Using Property Values (MDX).

Working with Field Properties in a Report

Extended field properties include predefined properties and data provider-specific properties. Field properties do not appear with the field list in the Report Data pane, even though they are in the query built for a dataset; therefore, you cannot drag field properties onto your report design surface. Instead, you must drag the field onto the report and then change the Value property of the field to the property that you want to use. For example, if the cell data from a cube has already been formatted, you can use the FormattedValue field property by using the following expression: =Fields!FieldName.FormattedValue.

To refer to an extended property that is not predefined, use the following syntax in an expression:

  • Fields!FieldName("PropertyName")

Predefined Field Properties

In most cases, predefined field properties apply to measures, levels, or dimensions. A predefined field property must have a corresponding value stored in the Analysis Services data source. If a value does not exist, or if you specify a measure-only field property on a level (for example), the property returns a null value.

You can use either of the following syntaxes to refer to a predefined property from an expression:

  • Fields!FieldName.PropertyName

  • Fields!FieldName("PropertyName")

The following table provides a list of predefined field properties that you can use.

Property Type Description or expected value
Value Object Specifies the data value of the field.
IsMissing Boolean Indicates whether the field was found in the resulting data set.
UniqueName String Returns the fully qualified name of a level. For example, the UniqueName value for an employee might be [Employee].[Employee Department].[Department].&[Sales].&[North American Sales Manager].&[272].
BackgroundColor String Returns the background color defined in the database for the field.
Color String Returns the foreground color defined in the database for the item.
FontFamily String Returns the name of the font defined in the database for the item.
FontSize String Returns the point size of the font defined in the database for the item.
FontWeight String Returns the weight of the font defined in the database for the item.
FontStyle String Returns the style of the font defined in the database for the item.
TextDecoration String Returns special text formatting defined in the database for the item.
FormattedValue String Returns a formatted value for a measure or key figure. For example, the FormattedValue property for Sales Amount Quota returns a currency format like $1,124,400.00.
Key Object Returns the key for a level.
LevelNumber Integer For parent-child hierarchies, returns the level or dimension number.
ParentUniqueName String For parent-child hierarchies, returns a fully qualified name of the parent level.

Values exist for these extended field properties only if the data source (for example, the Analysis Services cube) provides these values when your report runs and retrieves the data for its datasets. You can then refer to those field property values from any expression using the syntax described in the following section. However, because these fields are specific to this data provider, changes that you make to these values are not saved with the report definition.

Example Extended Properties

To illustrate extended properties, the following MDX query and result set include several member properties available from a dimension attribute defined for a cube. The member properties included are MEMBER_CAPTION, UNIQUENAME, Properties("Day Name"), MEMBER_VALUE, PARENT_UNIQUE_NAME, and MEMBER_KEY.

This MDX query runs against the AdventureWorks2012 cube in the AdventureWorks2012 DW database, included with the AdventureWorks2012 sample databases.

WITH MEMBER [Measures].[DateCaption]   
   MEMBER [Measures].[DateUniqueName]   
   MEMBER [Measures].[DateDayName]   
      AS '[Date].[Date].Properties("Day Name")'   
   MEMBER [Measures].[DateValueinOriginalDatatype]   
   MEMBER [Measures].[DateParentUniqueName]   
   MEMBER [Measures].[DateMemberKeyinOriginalDatatype]   
      AS '[Date].[Date].CURRENTMEMBER.MEMBER_KEY'   
FROM [Adventure Works]  

When you run this query in an MDX query pane, you get a result set with 1158 rows. The first four rows are shown in the following table.

DateCaption DateUniqueName DateDayName DateValueinOriginalDatatype DateParentUniqueName DateMemberKeyinOriginalDatatype
All Periods [Date].[Date].[All Periods] (null) (null) (null) 0
1-Jul-01 [Date].[Date].&[1] Sunday 7/1/2001 [Date].[Date].[All Periods] 1
2-Jul-01 [Date].[Date].&[2] Monday 7/2/2001 [Date].[Date].[All Periods] 2
3-Jul-01 [Date].[Date].&[3] Tuesday 7/3/2001 [Date].[Date].[All Periods] 3

Default MDX queries built using the MDX Query Designer in graphical mode only include MEMBER_CAPTION and UNIQUENAME for dimension properties. By default, these values always are data type String.

If you need a member property in its original data type, you can include an additional property MEMBER_VALUE by modifying the default MDX statement in the text-based query designer. In the following simple MDX statement, MEMBER_VALUE has been added to the list of dimension properties to retrieve.

SELECT NON EMPTY {[Measures].[Order Count]} ON COLUMNS,   
NON EMPTY { ([Date].[Month of Year].[Month of Year] ) }   
FROM [Adventure Works]  

The first four rows of the result in the MDX Results pane appear in the following table.

Month of Year Order Count
January 2,481
February 2,684
March 2,749
April 2,739

Even though the properties are part of the MDX select statement, they do not appear in the result set columns. Nevertheless, the data is available for a report by using the extended properties feature. In an MDX query result pane in SQL Server Management Studio, you can double-click on the cell and see the cell property values if they are set in the cube. If you double-click on the first Order Count cell that contains 1,379, you will see a pop-up window with the following cell properties:

Property Value
CellOrdinal 0
VALUE 2481
FONT_NAME (null)
FONT_SIZE (null)

If you create a report dataset with this query and bind the dataset to a table, you can see the default VALUE property for a field, for example, =Fields!Month_of_Year!Value. If you set this expression as the sort expression for the table, your results will be to sort the table alphabetically by month because the Value field uses a String data type. To sort the table in so that the months are in the order they occur in the year with January first and December last, use the following expression:


This sorts the value of the field in its original integer data type from the data source.

See Also

Expressions (Report Builder and SSRS)
Built-in Collections in Expressions (Report Builder and SSRS)
Dataset Fields Collection (Report Builder and SSRS)