Letters, July 2002

Editor's Note: SQL Server Magazine welcomes feedback about the magazine. Send your comments to [email protected] Please include your full name, email address, and daytime phone number with your letter. We edit all letters and replies for style, length, and clarity.

Web-Based Analysis

Mark Scott and John Lynn's June 2002 article, "Building a Web-Based Analysis System" (InstantDoc ID 24692) was great! We deployed an Internet Explorer-based executive information system through our intranet when SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services was still in beta, and it worked like a treat. The key to securing such a system is to allow intranet versus Internet access. Our cubes rely on integrated security at the row level, which can result in problems when trying to establish connectivity over the Internet. We're in the process of upgrading to SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and its HTTP OLAP functionality in an attempt to continue using the pivot control and to reduce our programming effort to almost nothing. Again, thanks for the article.

Get Your Answers Here

I want to thank SQL Server Magazine and especially contributing editor Itzik Ben-Gan for helping me troubleshoot an upgrade problem I had. I posted my problem in the Microsoft newsgroup but didn't receive an answer. When I emailed Ben-Gan, however, he responded immediately with the information I needed, and everything is working fine now. In addition, I recently gave a 1-hour presentation about Data Transformation Services (DTS) to some colleagues who are new to SQL Server. Before the demo, I contacted SQL Server Magazine to see whether I could get 20 copies of the magazine to hand out at the class. When the copies arrived, we turned immediately to the lead article by Ben-Gan, "Effective Installation" (May 2002, InstantDoc ID 24317). I shared with the class how SQL Server Magazine has been a staple to me over the years. I also shared how authors respond to emails when you run into a problem that no one else can figure out—just as Ben-Gan did for me. They were impressed. Hopefully, many of them will subscribe to the magazine. Keep up the great work!

Is mdXML Dead?

I appreciate Russ Whitney's Mastering Analysis column in SQL Server Magazine, and I have a question about mdXML—the XML-based query language that's supposed to be like MDX. I thought that mdXML was supposed to be part of the XML for Analysis initiative. However, apart from the announcement of the new query language a year ago, I haven't heard anything about it. Is mdXML a dead duck?

No, mdXML isn't dead! At an XML for Analysis (XMLA) committee meeting a few weeks ago, we talked at length about mdXML and its relationship to Microsoft's version of MDX. The committee is working on choosing which version of MDX to baseline for mdXML. The next XMLA specification will document the decision. George Spofford of DSS Lab (http://www.dsslab.com) is working on the initial document for mdXML, and you can find more information about the progress of the XMLA standard at http://www.xmla.org. Look for an event in the November 2002 to January 2003 time frame that brings many analysis vendors together to integrate the standard into their products.

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