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MSSQL Analysis Services - Attribute Member Names - Page 2

October 13, 2008

Procedure: Examine Attribute Name Property Settings in Analysis Services 2005

In the practice procedures that follow, we will select and examine a representative dimension attribute within the sample cube, and then focus upon the Name property settings that define and support the selected attribute. We will perform our practice sessions within the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, from which we will examine the dimension attribute Name property 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. In Attribute Member Keys – Pt I: Introduction and Simple Keys, and in Attribute Member Keys – Pt II: Composite Keys we focused upon those properties for a simple attribute key and a composite attribute key, respectively. Just as we did in those articles, we will examine the detailed settings for a representative attribute member here, concentrating on those settings within the context of the member Name. To access these settings for the attribute member within a representative dimension, we will need to open that dimension within the Dimension Designer first.

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

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

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

The attributes belonging to the Time dimension appear as depicted in Illustration 4.

Illustration 4:  The Member Attributes, Time Dimension
Illustration 4: The Member Attributes, Time Dimension

We note that eight attributes appear within the Attributes pane. Let's get some exposure to the Name property settings associated with attribute members by examining a representative member among the attributes we see here.

Review Attribute Name Property Settings

In Dimensional 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, and in Attribute Member Keys – Pt II: Composite Keys we discovered that, within the Source properties of every attribute member lays the Name property. Let’s examine the property and the underlying NameColumn settings for the Month Name attribute, which is supported by a composite key within the sample Analysis Services database, by taking the following steps.

1.  Within the Attributes pane of the Dimension Structure tab, right-click the Month Name attribute.

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

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

The Properties pane appears for the Month Name attribute. (The Properties pane likely appeared when we selected the Month Name attribute within the Attributes pane, by default, below the Solution Explorer. It also may have been hidden, set up to “float” within the Studio, or to be anchored elsewhere.) The design environment can, of course, be customized in many ways to accommodate your local environment and development needs.)

3.  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 6.

Illustration 6:  Expand the Source Group in the Properties Pane
Illustration 6: Expand the Source Group in the Properties Pane

The expanded Source properties group of the Properties pane for the Month Name attribute appears as shown in Illustration 7.

Illustration 7:  The Source Properties for the Month Name Attribute
Illustration 7: The Source Properties for the Month Name Attribute

Let's take a look at the Name property (and its “subproperties”), as relevant to the Month Name attribute, discussing the purpose of the property, and examining possible settings with which we can come into contact.








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