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Posted Sep 20, 2002

Introduction to SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services: Handling Time Dimensions - Page 4

By William Pearson

We should get a verification dialog confirming that the source has been established in our definition (as shown in Illustration 7).

Illustration 7: Verification of the Connection to the FoodMart 2000 Database

  1. Click OK, and the Microsoft Data Link verification dialog box closes.

We will leave all the other Data Link Properties at their default setpoints for now.

  1. Click OK on the Data Link Properties tab.

The Data Link Properties dialog closes, and we can see that the new source appears under the Data Sources folder in the tree area, on the left side of the Management Console, displaying the actual file name, as shown below.

Illustration 8: Initial view of Our Newly Created Data Source

As mentioned in Lesson One, we might want to make this a more intuitive -- or at least shorter-name in order to keep a tidy appearance. As a simple "rename" capability is not in the cards, we will have to be a bit creative here; A right-mouse click on our new data source allows a Copy action, which will act as a workaround for renaming the object in question.

  1. Right-click the new data source.
  2. Click Copy.
  3. Highlight the Data Sources folder.
  4. Select Paste from the popup menu.
This causes Analysis Services to indicate that a duplicate has been detected, and to prompt us for a unique name to rectify the confusion. We will respond to the new name request with MyFoodMart2, using the dialog box that appears (as shown below in Illustration 9).

Illustration 9: Changing the Name of the Newly Copied Cube as a Means of Renaming

The Duplicate Name dialog thus again acts as our agent of change, and, once we click OK, adds the newly named data source under the data sources folder.

  1. Click OK to close the Duplicate Name dialog.
All that remains is to delete the original data source, from which we cloned MyFoodMart2.

  1. Right-click the original data source, and select Delete on the popup menu, then click the Yes button, to organize our new data source folder.
Our tree should now resemble that shown in Illustration 10.

Illustration 10: Changing the Name of the Newly Copied Cube as a Means of Renaming

In Lesson One we used the Cube Wizard, together with the subsidiary specialized wizards (including the Dimension Wizard), as called by the Cube Wizard, to rapidly create a simple cube to explore the various aspects and steps of the process from a relatively high level. In this lesson, the focus is the creation and manipulation of the time dimension. We will, however, need a cube structure in place to house the dimension hierarchies that we intend to build. We will now create the cube in which our dimension will reside, and then move the focus solely to the handling of dimension structures for the remainder of the lesson.

We will use the Dimension Wizard, which we will access from the Cube Wizard in creating a cube shell structure for the reasons we have mentioned, to create our first time dimension hierarchy, Calendar Time. We will then return to dimension manipulation via the Dimension Editor to create a Fiscal hierarchy, to further illustrate our options, and the processes involved, in creating multiple time hierarchies, complete with discussion regarding their uses.

We now have an OLAP database in place, linked to a valid data source (the FoodMart 2000 database). Our preparation for the lesson (and for the creation of any dimension) is complete. The next step in our preparation will be to initialize the Cube Wizard, and to set up our basic table structure. Dimensions are obviously of little immediate use if we do not have data working within them. We will select a fact table along with dimension table sources to allow us to get a feel for how the time dimensions, our true concern in this lesson, interact with the data to construct OLAP cubes, and to enable OLAP reporting.

Page 5: Creating the Cube with the Cube Wizard

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