OLAP PivotTable Extensions (Free)
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Monday, 10 March 2008 08:44

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OLAP PivotTable Extensions is an Excel 2007 add-in which extends the functionality of PivotTables on Analysis Services cubes. The Excel 2007 API has certain PivotTable functionality which is not exposed in the UI. OLAP PivotTable Extensions provides an interface for some of this functionality. It can be launched from the following menu option in the right-click menu for PivotTables.

Private Calculated Members

Any calculated members which are part of the Analysis Service cube on the server can be added to PivotTables. But there is no built-in UI to define your own MDX calculations. Adding extra Excel calculations in the cells surrounding the PivotTable has some limitations as they are not part of the PivotTable and can be wiped out if the dimensions of the PivotTable change, and plain Excel calculations must only operate on data visible in the PivotTable.

OLAP PivotTable Extensions let you define your own calculated measures which are private to that particular PivotTable. Those calculations appear in the PivotTable just like any other calculations. They appear in the Field List pane at the very top under the Values grouping. For help with advanced calculation properties for these private PivotTable calculations, or for help with MDX expressions, refer to our Calculations Help page.

Best Practice: In order to ensure a single version of the truth, it is a best practice to define important calculations as part of the cube source code. But some calculations like simple ratios or differences may clutter the cube and may be more appropriate if defined in the PivotTable itself. In addition, certain ad hoc research or prototyping may be more appropriate to be done as calculations private to a PivotTable until they are finalized and are ready to be added to the cube source code.

Calculations Library


Since all calculations you define are private to that one PivotTable, OLAP PivotTable Extensions automatically creates a Calculations Library for you which contains all the calculations you create. This allows you to pick any previous calculation you've used from a dropdown and add it to the current PivotTable. You can also perform Calculation Library maintenance by importing, exporting, and deleting calculations.

View PivotTable MDX

If a PivotTable is performing poorly or returning incorrect numbers, it may be necessary for the Analysis Services administrator to troubleshoot the MDX query which the PivotTable is using. The MDX tab of the OLAP PivotTable Extensions dialog shows you this MDX.

The MDX is exactly what is sent to the server with one exception. Any private calculations you've created for your PivotTable are defined as session calculated members. The MDX query exposed on the MDX tab displays the formulas for these calculations as query calculated members in the WITH clause of the MDX query. This allows an administrator to copy and paste the MDX query and troubleshoot it more easily in Management Studio or MDX Studio.

Changing PivotTable Defaults


Certain settings must be manually changed after creating a new PivotTable. For instance, if your dimensions have calculated members you wish to see in your PivotTable, you must manually right click on the PivotTable, choose PivotTable Options, flip to the Display tab, then check "Show calculated members from OLAP server". The Defaults tab of OLAP PivotTable Extensions lets you default this setting to be on in any new PivotTables you create in the future.

Distributing PivotTables

OLAP PivotTable Extensions need only be installed on computers which need to create new private PivotTable calculations. After those calculations have been defined, the PivotTable can be distributed to others without problem. If published to Excel Services, the private calculations you define will still be active in the PivotTable. And if you distribute the Excel 2007 workbook to other Excel 2007 users, they will be able to continue designing and manipulating that PivotTable without problem.

The Calculation Library does not need to be distributed unless other users wish to start brand new PivotTables and reuse certain calculations you have created using OLAP PivotTable Extensions.

Installation Requirements

Download this extension here.

 

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