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Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part V - Page 2

July 7, 2008

Procedure: Examine Further Attribute Properties in Analysis Services 2005

Having begun an examination of the properties that define and support a representative attribute in Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part I, we focused upon the Advanced group of attribute properties within the associated practice session. In the practice procedures that follow, we will examine the properties that are classified within the Source group of the same attribute with which we worked in Part I, namely Geography Key, one of the attributes belonging to the Geography dimension.

We will conduct 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 Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part I, we noted that, to access the properties settings for attributes within a representative dimension, we needed to open that dimension within the Dimension Designer first. (Recall that, because database dimensions, and not cube dimensions, contain attributes, we access properties supporting dimension attributes via the Dimension Designer, and not the Cube Designer.)

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

2.  Click Open on the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 3.


Illustration 3: Opening the Dimension via the Dimension Designer ...

The tabs of the Dimension Designer open.

3.  Click the Dimension Structure tab, if we have not already arrived there by default.

We noted in Part I that five attributes appear within the Attributes pane of the Dimension Structure tab. The attributes belonging to the Geography dimension appear as shown in Illustration 4.


Illustration 4: The Member Attributes, Geography Dimension

We will continue our examination of the properties associated with attributes by re-entering the Geography Key attribute, as we did in the preceding articles of this subseries.

Overview of the Attribute Properties

As we noted in previous articles of this subseries, Analysis Services exposes many properties that determine how dimensions and dimension attributes function. We can review the properties for our selected attribute, Geography Key, within our sample UDM, by taking the following steps.

1.  Within the Attributes pane of the Dimension Structure tab, right-click the Geography Key attribute.

2.  Click Properties on the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 5.


Illustration 5: Select Properties from the Context Menu ...

The Properties pane appears for the Geography Key attribute. (The Properties pane likely appeared when we selected the Geography Key attribute within the Dimensions pane, by default, below the Solution Explorer. The design environment can, of course, be customized in many ways to accommodate our local development needs.)

We can, at this stage, see the thirty DimensionAttribute properties for the Geography Key attribute within the Properties pane. We examined the first eleven properties, the members of the Advanced properties group, in Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part I. We noted that these properties include the following:

  • AttributeHierarchyDisplayFolder
  • AttributeHierarchyEnabled
  • AttributeHierarchyOptimizedState
  • AttributeHierarchyVisible
  • DefaultMember
  • DiscretizationBucketCount
  • DiscretizationMethod
  • EstimatedCount
  • IsAggregatable
  • OrderBy
  • OrderByAttribute

The five Basic properties, which we examined in Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part II, and which appear underneath the Advanced properties group, include the following:

  • Description
  • ID
  • Name
  • Type
  • Usage

The Misc group, which we examined in Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part III, comes next, and includes the following four properties:

  • AttributeHierarchyOrdered
  • GroupingBehavior
  • InstanceSelection
  • MemberNamesUnique

Beneath the Misc group in the Properties pane lies the Parent-Child group, which we overviewed in Dimension Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part IV, and which includes the following five properties:

  • MembersWithData
  • MembersWithDataCaption
  • NamingTemplate
  • RootMemberIf
  • UnaryOperatorColumn

Finally, the five Source properties, appearing underneath the Parent-Child properties group, include the following:

  • CustomRollupColumn
  • CustomRollupPropertiesColumn
  • KeyColumns
  • NameColumn
  • ValueColumn

The Properties pane for the Geography Key attribute, with the Source properties group (which we will examine in the practice session that follows) expanded, appears as shown in Illustration 6.


Illustration 6: The Properties Pane for the Geography Key Attribute (Source Properties Expanded)

Having finished our overview of the Advanced, Basic, Misc, and Parent-Child attribute properties for a select dimension attribute, Geography Key, we will examine the last attribute properties group remaining for within our introduction and overview of dimension attributes, the Source attribute properties.








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