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MS SQL

Posted Jul 7, 2008

Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part V - Page 3

By William Pearson

Examine Attribute Properties: Source Properties

The Source properties group appears, within the Properties pane, just underneath the Parent-Child properties. We will next examine each property within the Parent-Child group for our chosen attribute example. As we did for the other properties groups, we will discuss / examine, in most cases, the purposes of, as well as the possible settings for, each property.

Source Property: CustomRollupColumn

The CustomRollupColumn property specifies a column within the underlying data source that defines a custom rollup formula.

1.  Click the downward arrow selector button that appears to the immediate right of the CustomRollupColumn label, to expose the two basic options for selection, as shown in Illustration 7.


Illustration 7: CustomRollupColumn Property Value Selection Options

The two selection options that are available are “None” and “New.”

2.  Select the “New” option within the selector.

The Object Binding dialog appears, as we saw earlier. Here again, we can employ the Object Binding dialog box to define bindings between the property of an Analysis Services object and a table / column in a data source view. As is the case with any of the several properties of Analysis Services objects we listed in our last section, we can call the Object Binding dialog box by selecting (new) from the drop-down list for the CustomRollupColumn value.

With the value we place into the CustomRollupColumn property, we can specify a column that contains an MDX (Multidimensional Expressions) expression to be used to aggregate measures for the attribute under consideration. An appropriate expression whose location (that is, the column within which it resides in the underlying data source) we specify within this value will override the AggregateFunction property (whose value can be one of twelve or so possible additive, semiadditive, or nonadditive functions – with SUM as the default) of the measure.

Using the Object Binding dialog, we select Binding type, Source table and Source column as appropriate to our needs, and then save our changes. Because we will not be making changes to this property setting in our practice example, we will simply dismiss the dialog via the Cancel button, as we have done earlier.

3.  Click the Cancel button at the bottom of the Object Binding dialog box to dismiss the dialog.

Source Property: CustomRollupPropertiesColumn

CustomRollupPropertiesColumn affords us a means of specifying a column containing the properties of the custom rollup.

4.  Click the downward arrow selector button that appears to the immediate right of the CustomRollupPropertiesColumn label, to expose the two basic options for selection, as depicted in Illustration 8.


Illustration 8: CustomRollupPropertiesColumn Property Value Selection Options

The two selection options that are available are “None” and “New,” as we have seen in earlier properties.

5.  Select the “New” option within the selector.

The Object Binding dialog appears, as we saw earlier, offering the same opportunities we have discussed for the definition of bindings between the property of an Analysis Services object and a table / column in a data source view.

With the value we place into the CustomRollupPropertiesColumn property, we can specify a column that contains the properties of a custom rollup formula. Using the Object Binding dialog, once again, we select Binding type, Source table and Source column as appropriate to our needs, and then save our changes.

Because we will not be making changes to this property setting in our practice example, we will simply dismiss the dialog via the Cancel button, as we have done earlier.

6.  Click the Cancel button at the bottom of the Object Binding dialog box, as before, to dismiss the dialog.

Source Property: KeyColumns

The value we select for the KeyColumns property specifies, in a manner similar to the CustomRollupColumn and CustomRollupPropertiesColumn properties, a column or columns within the underlying data source. The KeyColumns property specifies the column(s) containing the member key(s).

7.  Click the ellipses (“ ... “) button that appears to the immediate right of the KeyColumns property label, as shown in Illustration 9.


Illustration 9: Click the Ellipses ( “... “) Button to the Right of the KeyColumns Property

The DataItem Collection Editor appears, as depicted in Illustration 10.


Illustration 10: The DataItem Collection Editor Appears

The DataItem Collection Editor is used throughout the Business Intelligence Development Studio to edit the collection of data items associated with the KeyColumns property of various Analysis Services objects. The Members pane on the left side of the dialog lists the data items contained by the collection. Here, we can add or remove data items to the Members pane, as well as move the items up or down as appropriate to meet our business requirements.

8.  Expand the Misc group in the Properties pane (right half of the Editor) by clicking the “+” sign that appears to the immediate left of the Misclabel, as shown in Illustration 11.


Illustration 11: Expand the Misc Group in the Properties Pane

9.  Expand the Source properties group in the Properties pane, atop the list that appears under the newly expanded Misc group, by clicking the “+” sign that appears to the immediate left of the Source label.

The Properties pane displays a list of properties available for the data item that is selected within the Members pane (left half of the Editor), as depicted in Illustration 12.


Illustration 12: The Expanded Misc Properties Appear

Because we will not be making changes to these property settings in our practice example, we will simply dismiss the dialog via the Cancel button, as we have done in steps before.

10.  Click the Cancel button at the bottom of the DataItem Collection Editor to dismiss the dialog.

Source Property: NameColumn

The NameColumn property is related to the KeyColumns property. It allows us to specify the column that provides the name of the attribute that is displayed to users, rather than the value in the key column for the attribute (the default if no Name is specified).

11.  Expand the NameColumn group in the Properties pane by clicking the “+” sign that appears to the immediate left of the NameColumn property label, as shown in Illustration 13.


Illustration 13: Expand the NameColumn Group in the Properties Pane

12.  Expand the Source properties group in the Properties pane, atop the list that appears under the newly expanded NameColumn group, by clicking the “+” sign that appears to the immediate left of the Source label.

The Properties pane displays a list of properties settings available for the NameColumn property, as depicted in Illustration 14.


Illustration 14: The Expanded NameColumn Properties Appear

The value we supply to NameColumn is used to specify the column within the underlying data source that provides the name of the attribute that is displayed to users, as we have noted. This column is used to display a user-friendly column to users when the key column value for an attribute member is cryptic or not otherwise useful to the user, when the key column is based on a composite key or where other scenarios exist that dictate the use of an “alias” for a Name.



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