Procedure: Examine Key Attribute Properties and Characteristics in Analysis Services 2005
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 a
representative 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
Overview Parts I through V, respectively, we overviewed the properties
underpinning Database and Cube dimensions, and then examined the properties
supporting dimension attributes. Just as we did in those articles,
we will examine the detailed settings for a representative attribute member key here. 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 Geography dimension (expand the Dimensions
folder as necessary).
on the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 4.
4: 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 Geography dimension appear as shown in
5: The Member Attributes, Geography Dimension
note that five attributes appear within the Attributes pane.
Let's get some exposure to the properties associated with attributes by examining a
representative member among the attributes we see here.
Review Key Attribute Properties
As we discovered in Dimensional
and Overview Part V, within the Source properties of every attribute lays the KeyColumns property. Lets examine the
property and the underlying KeyColumns collection for the Geography attribute key, which represents a simple key within the sample Analysis Services database, by taking the
Within the Attributes
pane of the Dimension Structure tab, right-click the Geography
on the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 6.
6: Select Properties from the Context Menu ...
pane appears for the Geography Key attribute. (The Properties
pane likely appeared when we selected the Product dimension within
the Dimensions 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.)
can, at this stage, see the thirty DimensionAttribute properties
for the Geography Key attribute within the Properties pane,
arranged into five properties groups, which we examined in detail within the
earlier articles we have cited.
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 shown in
Illustration 7: Expand
the Source Group in the Properties Pane
Source properties group of the Properties pane for the Geography attribute
key appears as depicted in
8: The Source Properties for the Geography Attribute Key
take a look at each of the individual properties (and subproperties), as
relevant to a simple key, discussing the purpose of the property,
and examining possible settings with which we can come into contact. (We will
examine these settings for a composite key in Part II.) In most attributes, we find that only the KeyColumns
property is relevant, 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 Geography attribute key.