Procedure: Examine Key Attribute Properties and Characteristics in Analysis Services 2005 (Composite Key)
In the practice procedures that
follow, we will select and examine a representative key attribute within
the sample cube, focusing upon the properties that define and support such
an attribute. We will perform our practice sessions within the SQL
Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, from which we will perform
our examination of attribute properties within our Analysis Services
database, ANSYS065_Basic AS DB.
In Dimensional Model
Components: Dimensions Part I and II, and Dimensional Attributes: Introduction and Overview Parts I through V, respectively, we overviewed the properties underpinning
Database and Cube dimensions, and then examined the properties
supporting dimension attributes. Moreover, in Part I of this article, we focused upon
those properties for a simple attribute key. Just as we did in those
articles, we will examine the detailed settings for a representative attribute member key here, concentrating on those settings within the
context of a composite key. To access these settings for the attribute member key within a representative dimension, we will
need to open that dimension within the Dimension Designer first.
Within the Solution
Explorer, right-click the Time dimension (expand the Dimensions
folder as necessary).
on the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 5.
Illustration 5: Opening the Dimension via the Dimension Designer ...
tabs of the Dimension Designer open.
Click the Dimension
Structure tab, if we have not already arrived there by default.
member attributes that appear within the Attributes pane of the Dimension Structure tab.
The attributes belonging to the Time dimension appear as depicted in
Illustration 6: The Member Attributes, Time Dimension
note that eight attributes appear within the Attributes pane.
Let's get some exposure to the properties associated with attribute keys (in particular, a composite
key) by examining a representative member among the attributes
we see here.
Review Key Attribute Properties
Attributes: Introduction and Overview Part V, and as a part of our more
detailed exploration in Attribute
Member Keys Pt I: Introduction and Simple Keys, we discovered
that, within the
of every attribute lays the KeyColumns property. Lets examine the
property and the underlying KeyColumns collection for the Calendar Quarter attribute
which represents a composite key within the sample Analysis Services database, by taking the
Within the Attributes
pane of the Dimension Structure tab, right-click the Calendar
Quarter Key attribute.
on the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 7.
Illustration 7: Select Properties from the Context Menu ...
pane appears for the
(The Properties pane likely appeared when we selected the Calendar Quarter attribute
the Attributes pane, 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.)
Expand the Source
group, at the bottom of the Properties pane, by clicking the +
sign that appears to the immediate left of its label, if necessary, as depicted
in Illustration 8.
Illustration 8: Expand the Source Group in the Properties Pane
The expanded Source properties group of the Properties
pane for the Calendar Quarter attribute key appears as shown in Illustration 9.
Illustration 9: The Source Properties for the Calendar Quarte Attribute Key
take a look at each of the individual properties (and subproperties), as
relevant to a composite key, discussing the purpose of the property,
and examining possible settings with which we can come into contact. (As we
have noted, we examine these settings for a simple key in Part I.) In most attributes, we
find that only the KeyColumns property is relevant, from the perspective
of simple or composite keys, although NameColumn and ValueColumn
can certainly offer opportunities for employment, as we see in other articles
of this series. We will skip the CustomRollupColumn and CustomRollupPropertiesColumn
properties for this reason both are set to (none) in the case of our
example, the Calendar
Quarter attribute key.