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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review : MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Cookbook

What do you do in your evenings when you are sent off from your base location on a month long consulting assignment? Well, I had an option to soak up the old Beatles numbers in the Cavern Pub (the birthplace of Beatles) every evening, now that I am in Liverpool. But a particular book got me hooked this time and every weekday was just a restless wait for the evening to come. My readers, you might be misled by my words in thinking that I am reading the latest Dan Brown thriller but trust me, I am not exaggerating when I say that I couldn’t keep this book down till I completed it.

MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services CookbookNeither the book nor the author needs introduction. The book has already been lauded by most of the industry experts like Chris Webb, Marco Russo, Vincent Rainardi, etc. Tomislav Piasevoli (MVP | blog | twitter) has been one of my favourite bloggers and I have been following him for quite some years now. So it wasn’t quite surprising that I have been following up on the book updates ever since I saw the RAW e-book version (something like a beta release, just has a few chapters) on my PackT online subscription during the month of March. And luckily for me, the launch of the book coincided with my consulting assignment. I have spent quality time with the book most of these evenings (in fact, so much that I think it made my wife jealous Smile) and I am thoroughly impressed with the format of the book.

Walking back the memory lane, I always yearned for a SSAS book that had examples of common design and implementation issues and was overjoyed to find the same in Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. Once I went through this book completely, I tried to find a similar one for MDX too but in vain (found one for SSRS in the process - Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services Recipes for Designing Expert Reports). Well, I am glad to say that the search has finally ended with the advent of the MDX cookbook by Tomislav. The book follows a simple and easy to understand structure throughout the 9 chapters :

- Getting ready :- getting the pre-requisite queries ready for the task
- How to do it :- how to do the task
- How it works :- how the task works
- There’s more :- alternate ways and more information on the task
- See also :- links to related information and tasks

Once I got familiar with the format, I was just reading the ‘Getting ready’ part and trying to solve the task on my own. After that, I would compare my answers with the next 2 sections and it enriched my reading experience. Though the initial chapters were relatively easy, I was scratching my head as the chapters neared the end and I have learned a lot of new things through this book. This is not really intended to be your first MDX book but is a MUST HAVE once you have tasted a bit of MDX. All you MDX developers, you are definitely missing out on a great book if you haven’t read this. Now if you are not sure where to buy it from, here is the link. The Kindle version is also available in Amazon and you can download a sample from here to get a better feel of how the cookbook and its recipes are structured. As for me, I have just added it to the favourites on my blog’s Amazon widget.

1 comment:

  1. How does this campare to MDX solutions by george spofford ?

    ReplyDelete