Desired Improvements in Business Intelligence Developer Studio

I’m going to focus on some aspects Calculations in Analysis Services cubes here, and perhaps follow up with more areas later.

1) I’ve already mentioned the strange location for setting the Display Folder property of Calculations in another post, but it deserves inclusion here. Additionally, why is it not possible to set other properties such as Description? Why can we not use the standard Properties window in the shell for all these? Why are Format String, Visible and Non Empty Behavior (sic) on the made expression editing page. (Actually it’s because the Display Folder is in the <Calculation Properties> element and the latter form part of the MdxScript, but this is not a good reason for the UI to split them up.)

2) Intellisense in the Expression box, and real time evaluation of member names. The real time Expression validation in the calculations only deals with basic MDX syntax. I would like a background thread to check member names as well. I accept that it would be difficult to differentiate between the intent to reference a data driven member versus something like a measure name that is baked into the schema. However, it would be useful to at least have mis-spelled measure names underlined. Errors in these are only caught when the calculation is first queried.

3) The Metadata pane in the Calculations tab does not show calculations that have a Visible property of false. This is pretty irritating when you try to drag and drop invisible calculations into the Expression box. It encourages error prone re-typing.

4) The "Calculation Properties" window is too narrow on opening. With reasonable sized calculation names with common prefixes it’s impossible to tell them apart due to the short column width.

5) Comments in calculation expressions cannot be placed at the top of the calculation. If you switch to script view and back to form view they will no longer be visible (but they are still available in the script). They work if placed at the bottom.

 

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