Because the custom attributes are stored in binary fields in the tables of the database, special commands are required to retrieve this data. These special commands are called data services macros. Macros work by wrapping T-SQL statements. The Data Services layer parses the macros, performs the appropriate processing to create a temporary table to which the requested binary data is extracted; data in this temporary table is passed off to SQL Server for normal T-SQL processing.

Macros sometimes take additional parameters to perform other business logic such as normalizing timephased (business case) data, filtering the temporary table for optimization, and selecting custom attributes for inclusion in the temporary table. Further, some macros serve as convenient methods for reporting. All macros are detailed as data services.