Happy New Year 2012, everybody! With the release of SQL Server 2012 ante portas, this is going to be a very exciting year. So, let’s start this year with a release announcement: An updated version of the whitepaper “Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) In the Tabular BI Semantic Model” is available for download at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=237472&clcid=0x409.

Authors Howie Dickerman and Peter Myers and contributors Kasper de Jonge and Owen Duncan worked hard over recent months and the holidays to bring this whitepaper and samples to you ahead of schedule so that you can take advantage of all the DAX functions and new capabilities in your prerelease SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services projects. This whitepaper teaches you how to define simple and advanced calculations in PowerPivot workbooks and tabular model projects authored in SQL Server Data Tools. It explains how to use DAX for extensive filtering to calculate on data across multiple tables, work with relationships, perform dynamic aggregation, and solve real-world business problems.

My all-time favorite is the Row Context and Filter Context section. If you fully understand these concepts, especially in regards to calculated columns, measures, and table relationships, then you are truly a DAX expert. Here’s a question for you: Given a DAX formula, say =[SalesQuantity] * [UnitCost], how does DAX manage to interpret the column names as values? The Row Context and Filter Context section has the answer. Reading this whitepaper… highly recommended for every PowerPivot power user!