Axes Element (XMLA)

Contains a collection of Axis elements representing axis data contained by a root element that uses the MDDataSet data type.

<root xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xml-analysis:mddataset">

Characteristic Description

Data type and length


Default value



1-1: Required element that occurs once and only once.

Relationship Element

Parent elements


Child elements


Under the Axes element, the Axis elements are listed in the order that they occur in the dataset, starting at zero. The AxisFormat XMLA property setting determines how Axis elements are formatted. For more information about the AxisFormat property, see Supported XMLA Properties (XMLA).

An axis represents a set of tuples, in which all tuples in the set have the same dimensionality. A set can be represented in different ways with different advantages. For example, the following set of four tuples can be represented as a collection of two-dimensional tuples or a Cartesian product of two one-dimensional sets.

1999 1999 2000 2000





This set of tuples can be represented either as a collection of two-dimensional tuples:

{ ( 1999, Actual ), ( 1999, Budget ), ( 2000, Actual ), ( 2000, Budget ) }

This set can also be represented as a Cartesian product of two one-dimensional sets:

{ 1999, 2000 } x { Actual, Budget }

The first representation, two-dimensional tuples, is simpler for client tools to use. The second representation, a Cartesian product of one-dimensional sets, uses less space and preserves the multidimensional nature of the set.

The following table lists operations that can be used to define and characterize the structure and members of an axis.

Operation Description


The smallest unit of an axis representing the member of a dimension hierarchy.


A collection of Member objects from the same dimension hierarchy.


A collection of members from different dimension hierarchies.


A collection of Tuple objects with the same dimensionality.


A union of sets.


A Cartesian product of sets.

These operations translate the two-dimensional tuples and the Cartesian product of one-dimensional sets as follows.

Two-dimensional tuples

Tuples (
   Tuple( Member(1999), Member(Actual) ),
   Tuple( Member(1999), Member(Budget) ),
   Tuple( Member(2000), Member(Actual) ),
   Tuple( Member(2000), Member(Budget) )

Cartesian product of one-dimensional sets

CrossProduct (
   Members( Member(1999), Member(2000) ),
   Members( Member(Actual), Member(Budget) )

A client can use the AxisFormat property to request a specific representation.

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