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Microsoft OLAP by Mosha Pasumansky

REX - Java OLAP browser with XMLA support

Recently, while reading postings in the microsoft.public.sqlserver.olap newsgroup, I saw few postings from Igor Mekterovic about new free OLAP browser called REX. REX stands for waRehouse EXplorer (this is quite an unorthodox abbreviation) and it is Java application which connects to OLAP Server through XMLA. I added it to my list of products which work with Analysis Services at (there are over 80 now in the list!) and when I had some time, I went to REX's web site and downloaded it. REX is free, but is distributed as collection of .jar files - without source code. REX claims to support XMLA 1.1 and was tested against XMLA SDK, so I was really interested to get it working against Yukon, i.e. Analysis Services 2005. Unfortunatelly, I wasn't able to get it working - and I didn't debug Yukon too far to find out why. From the web page description, it appears that one of the strongest features it has - is built-in MDX editor, and REX allows to work interactively with the results of hand-written MDX queries. This feature is certainly oriented not towards end users, but towards developers, and it sounds pretty cool. Other products (such as OWC) also allow injection of MDX SELECT queries, and try to be able to work with the result, but they impose some strong restrictions on what can be done inside SELECT (for example OWC doesn't allow query calculated members, i.e. WITH clause). It would be interesting to find whether REX is less restrictive then that, certainly MDX pane plays big role in the UI screenshots. Tom Chester will probably be very happy to see this feature - he dedicated whole article to explain importance of it :) The REX's web site has few screenshots - here is more traditional one - browsing Foodmart 2000:

Published Sunday, November 21, 2004 8:57 PM by mosha
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