Browse the Newly Named Attribute Groups with the Cube Browser
one step further and examine the results of use of the attributes group naming
template from another practical perspective, that of the cube browser. As we
noted in the similar browse of the earlier section, this will give us an
appreciation for the improvements seen by the information consumers in querying
/ analyzing from the affected data.
Click the Browser
tab within the Cube Designer, once again.
Click the Reconnect
button atop the tab, as before.
In the Metadata
pane, expand the Employee dimension by clicking the + sign to its immediate
newly exposed Organization folder.
the Vacation Hours attribute within the expanded Organization folder.
Select Add to
Row Area from the context menu that appears, as we did in the earlier section.
all ten Vacation Hours buckets, with new custom labeling, appear in the rows of
the browser pane.
Click and drag
the Employee Name attribute to the immediate right of the physical column
containing the newly placed Vacation Hours buckets, as we did earlier, juxtaposing
the Employee Names on rows to the immediate right of the Vacation Hours, once
All ten Vacation
Hours buckets continue to appear in the rows of the browser pane with +
sign expand buttons appearing to the immediate left of the bucket labels.
Expand the Between
70 & 79 (incl) and the 90 & Over Vacation Hours buckets by clicking the
+ sign to its immediate left of each custom label.
The two Vacation Hours buckets expand, revealing lists of
the employee members whose total Vacation Hours place them within the
respective buckets in which they appear, as partially shown in Illustration 23.
Illustration 23: Select Vacation Hours Buckets, Expanded to Show Membership
We again emphasize to our client colleagues that they
might use this arrangement to do far more than present lists of the members of
the various strata. We also note that the naming
template can be modified to meet similar, or even somewhat different, custom
naming needs for the attribute groups they create via discretization, and
encourage them to experiment further with the procedures we have examined
Having demonstrated the potential effects that we can
achieve using the naming template, in conjunction with Automatic discretization
(but certainly available to the other discretization methods, as well), we turn
the development environment over to the client representatives with which we
have worked. Our colleagues express satisfaction with our efforts, and state
that they grasp the concepts adequately to leverage the naming template anytime
they apply any of the discretization methods offered within Analysis Services
to other attributes within their cubes.
further within the cube browser, as desired.
Select File -> Exit to leave the design environment, when ready,
and to close the Business
Intelligence Development Studio.
In this article, we continued our exploration of discretization
in Analysis Services, this time with the objective of introducing, and gaining
some hands-on exposure to employing, custom naming for the attribute groups
created within the various discretization methods. Our focus was to go beyond
the First Group Member Last Group Member default that Analysis Services uses
in creating group labels during discretization, and enacting the generation of custom
labels for our groups.
We first discussed the discretization options that are
available (referring to individual articles covering each within this Database
Journal subseries), before choosing to work with Automatic discretization
in the sample cube, to serve as a basis for meeting the custom naming
requirements of a hypothetical client. Our examination included a brief, general review of attribute
discretization in Analysis Services, potential benefits that accrue from discretization
in our UDMs, and how the process can help us to meet the primary objectives of
business intelligence. We performed an overview of the multiple pre-defined discretization
processes supported within the Analysis Services UDM. We then began our
practice session with an inspection, via the browser in the Dimension Designer,
of the contiguous members of a select attribute hierarchy, noting the absence
of grouping and discussing shortcomings of this default arrangement.
Next, we enabled the Automatic discretization method
within the dimension attribute Properties pane. We then reprocessed the sample
cube with which we were working to enact the new Automatic discretization of
the select attribute members. Finally, we performed further inspections, via
the Dimension Designer and Cube Designer browsers, of the members of the attribute
hierarchy involved in the request for assistance by our hypothetical client,
noting the new, more intuitive grouping (and the default naming of the attribute
groups) established by the most recent use of the Automatic discretization method.
Once we had a discretized the attribute members and examined
the default naming of the resulting groups, we discussed the naming template supplied
with Analysis Services, describing its parts and their uses. We next modified
the template to meet the naming requirements requested by our hypothetical
client, and placed the syntax within the Format property of the affected
attribute. We then reprocessed the cube to enact the new naming template we
had supplied, within the context of Automatic discretization of the selected attribute
members. Finally, we performed a final examination, via the browsers in both
the Dimension Designer and the Cube Designer, of the members of a select attribute
hierarchy, noting the new, more intuitive grouping, together with more
user-friendly labels, established by the newly enacted Automatic discretization
About the MSSQL Server Analysis Services Series
article is a member of the series Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services. The series is designed to
provide hands-on application of the fundamentals of MS SQL Server Analysis
Services (Analysis Services), with each installment progressively presenting
features and techniques designed to meet specific real-world needs. For more
information on the series, please see my initial article, Creating Our First
the software components,
samples and tools needed to complete the hands-on portions of this article, see
Optimization in Analysis Services 2005, another article within this series.
See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III