How to Query SSASMD using #DAX

This is my seventh post in a series of entry-level posts, as suggested by Tim Ford (b|l|t) in this challenge.
I have not set any scope for the topics of my, at least, twelve (12) posts in this blog category of mine, but I can assure, it’ll be focused on SQL Server stuff. This time, it’s a little trick on how to execute DAX via a SQL Server Management Studio [SSMS] MDX Query.

In our current setup, we have both Reporting Services [SSRS] and PowerView Dashboards connecting to our underlying SQL Server Analysis Services [SSAS] cubes. And as we are constantly monitoring the servers, logging which queries are executed, we can tell which ones candidate for optimization. Now, with PowerView Dashboards we do not have the ability to change the actual DAX that gets send to the server. But we can execute the DAX, and trace whether aggregates are missing or if partitioning would be applicable.

Since we have the individual query, it would be nice to be able to execute these manually through SSMS with a SQL Trace running. Admitted, I am a Trace fan 🙂
This is actually possible, with only a little tweak.

In order to execute DAX on a SSAS Multidimensional cube, the Cube property of the connection string needs to be assigned. Here is how to do that.

Open a new MDX Query

New MDX QueryYou will be prompted for server, but before you assign any of that, hit the ‘Options’ button:

Select Options

One of the properties available in the connection string is Cube. See full reference of connection string properties here. Select the third tab; Additional Connection Parameters, and assign the cube you want to query.

Assign Cube Attribute

Write your DAX query, in the MDX query window

MDX Query

and execute it to see the results.

ResultAt the time of writing, not all of the queries we are logging are directly executable via this tweak, but we manage to get the long running ones going – which gives us enough insights to potentially fix or at least improve the query execution times.

Hope you enjoyed this little tip.

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