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%FILTER Clause

Applies a filter to a SELECT statement; describes how to slice the results of a SELECT statement. This clause is similar to WHERE except that you can include multiple %FILTER clauses in a statement. %FILTER is an InterSystems extension to MDX.

Syntax and Details

select_statement %FILTER set_expression


Because InterSystems MDX automatically converts types where appropriate, you can also use a single member expression or tuple expression in place of the set expression.

You can include as many %FILTER clauses as needed. This clause is particularly useful when you run queries programmatically, because it enables to you filter the results further by simply appending to the SELECT statement. (In contrast, if you use the WHERE clause and you need to add another filter item, it is necessary to rewrite the WHERE clause, because only one WHERE clause is permitted.)


Each set element is used as a separate slicer axis, and the results of all the slicer axes (of all %FILTER clauses) are aggregated together. This is the process of axis folding (a filter is considered to be a query axis). Axis folding means that if a given source record has a non-null result for each slicer axis, that record is counted multiple times.

In axis folding, values are combined according to the aggregation method for that measure, as specified in the cube definition. (In the examples here, %COUNT is added.)

For more details, see “Axis Folding” in the appendix “How the Business Intelligence Query Engine Works” in Implementing InterSystems Business Intelligence.


If you use the %FILTER clause with a measure search expression, the clause uses the rows of the fact table that do meet the given criteria. (A measure search expression is an InterSystems extension to MDX that considers the measure values in the fact table itself.)

                             Patient Count
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If you have enabled the %SQLRESTRICT dimension for a cube, you can include an SQL SELECT statement or WHERE clause in your MDX queries against that cube. This will allow run-time restriction via an SQL statement in your MDX query. To use the %SQLRESTRICT dimension, add a %FILTER clause using the following syntax:

%FILTER %SQLRESTRICT.&[sqlStatement]
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where sqlStatement is an SQL SELECT statement or an SQL WHERE clause. Any SELECT statement must be designed to return a of list of IDs from the source table of the cube. These IDs limit which facts may be considered in the final MDX result — only facts that correspond to records with an ID in the returned list of IDs are included in the final result. Consider the following example MDX query that uses a SELECT statement for sqlStatement:

SELECT FROM HOLEFOODS WHERE [Comments].[H1].[Comments].&[SELECT ID FROM HoleFoods.SalesTransaction WHERE ID IN (1,2,3,4)]
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It is also possible to query an external reference table. For example, given the following simplistic tables:

Example Cube Source Table
ID Name
1 Bill
2 Sally
3 Tom
4 Mike
5 Teresa
6 Alice
Example External Reference Table (Cohort.Table)
ID PatientID Name Age
1 1 Bill 1
2 6 Sally 10
3 4 Tom 45

the following %SQLRESTRICT subquery would return PatientID values of 1 and 6, leaving only Bill and Alice, who have IDs of 1 and 6 in the Example Cube Source Table, as possible results for your MDX query:

%SQLRESTRICT.&[SELECT PatientID From Cohort.Table WHERE Age < 35]
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Note that the above sample tables are overly simplistic and are for example purposes only.

The %SQLRESTRICT subquery should return a single column of numbers, which are assumed to IDs from the source table.

Alternatively, a WHERE clause may be used as a shortcut to describe a limitation of the source records directly. Consider the following examples:

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SELECT NON EMPTY [DateOfSale].[Actual].[YearSold].Members ON 1 FROM [HOLEFOODS] %FILTER %SQLRESTRICT.&[WHERE YEAR(DateOfSale)='2017']
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Internally, this WHERE clause syntax causes the system to insert a SELECT statement into the %SQLRESTRICT subquery, with the target being the source class of the cube that is being queried in the MDX query. For example, these two queries are equivalent, because Holefoods.SalesTransaction is the source class of the Holefoods cube:

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See Also

See the WHERE clause.

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