Introduction to MDX
MDX, an acronym for Multidimensional Expressions, is a syntax that supports the definition and manipulation of multidimensional objects and data. MDX is similar in many ways to the Structured Query Language (SQL) syntax, but is not an extension of the SQL language; in fact, some of the functionality that is supplied by MDX can be supplied, although not as efficiently or intuitively, by SQL.
As with an SQL query, each MDX query requires a data request (the SELECT clause), a starting point (the FROM clause), and a filter (the WHERE clause). These and other keywords provide the tools used to extract specific portions of data from a cube for analysis. MDX also supplies a robust set of functions for the manipulation of retrieved data, as well as the ability to extend MDX with user-defined functions.
MDX, like SQL, provides data definition language (DDL) syntax for managing data structures. There are MDX commands for creating (and deleting) cubes, dimensions, measures, and their subordinate objects.