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Posted Jan 24, 2008

Dimensional Model Components: Dimensions Part I - Page 3

By William Pearson

Review Database Dimension Properties

We can modify, or even delete, a Database dimension by using the Dimension Designer within the Business Intelligence Development Studio. Let’s take a look at the properties in place for a Database dimension within our new sample UDM by taking the following steps.

1.  Within the Solution Explorer, right-click the Product dimension (expand the Dimensions folder as necessary).

2.  Right-click the Product dimension.

3.  Click Properties on the context menu that appears, as to shown in Illustration 8.


Illustration 8: Select Properties from the Context Menu ...

The Properties pane appears for the Product dimension. (The Properties pane likely appeared already, by default, below the Solution Explorer. The design environment can, of course, be customized in many ways to accommodate your local environment and development needs.)

We can see the two Object Model properties for the Product dimension within the Properties pane. These are, quite simply, Object ID and Object Name. The Properties pane for the Product Database dimension appears as depicted in Illustration 9.

Illustration 9: The Properties Pane for the Product Database Dimension

Object Name can be modified within the Solution Explorer by simply using the Rename selection within the context menu that we accessed in the last step above.

We will extend our examination of dimensions yet further in the second half of this article, where we will examine Cube dimensions and the more numerous properties that are associated with them.

NOTE: Please consider saving the project we have created to this point for use in the second half of this article, as well as for subsequent related articles within this subseries, so as to avoid the need to repeat the preparation process we have undertaken above.

4.  Select File -> Save All to save our work, up to this point, within the originally chosen location, where it can be easily accessed for Part II of this article, as well is for other articles within this subseries.

5.  Select File -> Exit to leave the design environment, when ready, and to close the Business Intelligence Development Studio.

Conclusion

In this, Part I of a two-part article, we began a subseries of several articles focusing upon dimensional model components, with an objective of discussing the associated concepts, and of providing hands-on exposure to the properties supporting each. We began with an introduction to the dimensional model and a discussion of its role in meeting the primary objectives of business intelligence. Next, we introduced dimensions in general, including the two primary dimension types within Analysis Services, Database dimensions and Cube dimensions.

As a means of distinguishing the two types of dimensions, we examined both within the design environment. We compared the Database dimension type to the Cube dimension type, and explained differences in the number of each occurring within our sample model. We then reviewed the Properties associated with a Database Dimension, based upon the examination of a representative dimension within our sample UDM. Finally, we looked forward to the second half of this article, where we explore the general concepts and properties (including what they define and support, and how we can manage them) underpinning Cube Dimensions.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

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