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Axis and Slicer Dimensions

SQL Server 2000

When formulating a Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) query, an application typically looks at the cubes and divides the set of dimensions into two subsets:

  • Axis dimensions, for which data is retrieved for multiple members.

  • Slicer dimensions, for which data is retrieved for a single member.

Because axis and slicer dimensions can be constructed from multiple dimensions of the cube to be queried, these terms are used to differentiate the dimensions employed by the cube to be queried from the dimensions created in the cube returned by an MDX query.

For example, assume that a cube exists, named TestCube, with two simple dimensions named Route and Time. Because the measures of the cube are part of the Measures dimension, this cube has three dimensions in all. The query is to provide a matrix in which the Packages measure can be compared across routes and times.

In the following MDX query example, the Route and Time dimensions are used as axis dimensions and the Measures dimension is used as the slicer dimension. The Members function indicates that the members of the dimension or level are to be used to construct a set, instead of having to explicitly state each member of a given dimension or level in an MDX query.

SELECT
   { Route.nonground.Members } ON COLUMNS,
   { Time.[1st half].Members } ON ROWS
FROM TestCube
WHERE ( [Measures].[Packages] )

The resulting grid of values would resemble the following table, showing the value of the Packages measure at each intersection of the COLUMNS and ROWS axis dimensions.

  air sea
1st quarter 60 50
2nd quarter 45 45

MDX evaluates the axis and slicer dimensions first, building the structure of the result cube before retrieving the information from the cube to be queried.

The slicer dimension is similar to an axis dimension in its purpose, but has limitations that axis dimensions do not share.

Note  Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Analysis Services supports a maximum of 128 shared or private dimensions in a cube, in addition to the Measures dimension. Therefore, MDX queries on Analysis Services cubes are limited to 129 axes maximum.

See Also

Specifying the Contents of an Axis Dimension

Specifying the Contents of a Slicer Dimension

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