Performance Degradation with the Aggregate Function and Unrelated Dimensions

I ran into a severe performance issue with the Aggregate function and unrelated dimensions which I reported on connect. In this context, an unrelated dimension is a dimension that doesn’t join any measure group in the cube. Why have unrelated dimensions? My preferred way to implement time calculations is use a regular dimension that is added to the cube but not related to any measure groups. Then, I use scope assignments to overwrite the time calculations, e.g. for YTD, MTD, etc. For example, the scope assignment for YTD might look like:

Scope (

[Relative Date].[YTD]


this =



{[Relative Date].[Current Period]} * PeriodsToDate([Date].[Fiscal].[Fiscal Year], [Date].[Fiscal].CurrentMember)


End Scope;

Notice the use of the Aggregate function which when executed maps to the default aggregation function of the underlying measure. For some reason with SQL Server 2012, a query that uses the Relative Date dimension experiences a significant performance hit. Replacing Aggregate with Sum fixes the issue, assuming you can sum up the affected measure to produce the time calculations.