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Find Datatype Of Each Measure In SSAS MDX Queries

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18 Feb 2016CPOL
In this post, we will see how we can get the datatype of each measure we use in our SSAS MDX Queries.

In this post, we will see how we can get the datatype of each measure we use in our SSAS MDX Queries. This post may be helpful if you are working with SSAS cubes especially if you need to work with the data you get from the cubes like formatting the data, assigning the data as grid data source or formulate the data to any other form. I have got a requirement to show the cube data as a grid, so I was required to know the types of each measure that the user selects so that I can assign the grid column types accordingly. There are few many ways we can find the types of measures, here I am going to discuss that with you. I hope you will like this.


I had gone through this requirement and I could do this in time with the help of Mr.GregGalloway (Stack overflow user). You can find my question here in stack overflow.

If your cube has data with the types of string and numbers alone, finding the types will be too easy. Now before going through the processes listed in this article, if you don’t have only string and numbers as the types in the cube, this post will definitely help you.

If you are looking for some sample stored procedures that will help you with your development with your analysis services, you can always see it here: ASSP – Analysis Services Stored Procedure Project.

Using the Code

Here, we are going to create a function which accepts server name, database name, and the measure name collection in which we need to find out what type it is. The core part of this function will be a DMV query which we can run against our SSAS cube. The query will be as follows:

DEFAULT_FORMAT_STRING  from $system.mdschema_measures

Now before going further, please make sure that you have included AnalysisServices Adomd Client.

using Microsoft.AnalysisServices.AdomdClient;

Now, we will create the function which will give you the data about the datatypes of your measures.

#region Return the data types of measures
        /// <summary>
        /// FindMeasureDataTypes-Find the measure type whether 
        /// it is a currency or a percentage or a number
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="serverName"></param>
        /// <param name="databaseName"></param>
        /// <param name="myMeasureCollection"></param>
        public DataTable FindMeasureDataTypes
	(string serverName, string databaseName, string myMeasureCollection)
                string res = string.Empty;
                List<string> myMeasures = new List<string>();

                //Building the connection string start
                StringBuilder sbConnectionString = new StringBuilder();
                sbConnectionString.Append("Provider=MSOLAP;data source=");
                sbConnectionString.Append(serverName + ";initial catalog=" + 
                databaseName + ";Integrated Security=SSPI;Persist Security Info=False;");
                //Building the connection string start

                AdomdConnection conn = new AdomdConnection(sbConnectionString.ToString());
                myMeasures = myMeasureCollection.Split(new string[] 
                { "||" }, StringSplitOptions.None).ToList();
                for (int i = 0; i < myMeasures.Count; i++)
                    //Format the measure name
                    if (i == 0)
                        res += "MEASURE_NAME ='" + 
                        myMeasures[i].Replace("[Measures].", "").Replace
                        ("[", "").Replace("]", "") + "'"; 
                        res += " OR MEASURE_NAME ='" + 
                        myMeasures[i].Replace("[Measures].", "").Replace
                        ("[", "").Replace("]", "") + "'";

                string query = "select [CATALOG_NAME],[CUBE_NAME],MEASURE_NAME, 
                DEFAULT_FORMAT_STRING  from $system.mdschema_measures where " + res;
                using (AdomdCommand cmd = new AdomdCommand(query, conn))
                    DataTable tblMeasureType = new DataTable();
                    AdomdDataAdapter da = new AdomdDataAdapter(cmd);
                    return tblMeasureType;

            catch (Exception)
                return null;


So in the table tblMeasureType, we will get the data. In the column DEFAULT_FORMAT_STRING, you can see the actual type of your measure. It will show as ‘Currency’ if it is a currency type and ‘Percentage’ if it is a percentage type and ‘#,##’ for the numbers. The DEFAULT_FORMAT_STRING actually describes each measure which are all available in the cube. And DEFAULT_FORMAT_STRING rowset contains the following columns.


You can always check here to look for more information about MDSCHEMA_MEASURES Rowset.

As you can see, the function accepts one parameter called myMeasureCollection, this is the collection of our measures and we are formatting the same as follows:

for (int i = 0; i < myMeasures.Count; i++)
                   //Format the measure name
                   if (i == 0)
                       res += "MEASURE_NAME ='" + myMeasures[i].Replace
                       ("[Measures].", "").Replace("[",
                       "").Replace("]", "") + "'";
                       res += " OR MEASURE_NAME ='" + myMeasures[i].Replace
                       ("[Measures].", "").Replace("[",
                       "").Replace("]", "") + "'";

The myMeasureCollection is a string variable which has the values in the format of [Measures].[My Measure 1]||[Measures].[My Measure 2]||[Measures].[My Measure 3]. That is why we are splitting the values with || as follows:

myMeasures = myMeasureCollection.Split(new string[]
{ "||" }, StringSplitOptions.None).ToList();

I hope everything is clear. Happy coding!


Did I miss anything that you may think is needed? Have you ever wanted to do this requirement? Could you find this post useful? I hope you liked this article. Please share your valuable suggestions and feedback.

Your Turn. What Do You Think?

A blog isn’t a blog without comments, but do try to stay on topic. If you have a question unrelated to this post, you’re better off posting it on C# Corner, Code Project, Stack Overflow, ASP.NET Forum instead of commenting here. Tweet or email me a link to your question there and I’ll definitely try to help if I can.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Sibeesh Passion
Software Developer
Germany Germany
I am Sibeesh Venu, an engineer by profession and writer by passion. I’m neither an expert nor a guru. I have been awarded Microsoft MVP 3 times, C# Corner MVP 5 times, DZone MVB. I always love to learn new technologies, and I strongly believe that the one who stops learning is old.

My Blog: Sibeesh Passion
My Website: Sibeesh Venu

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