Preparation within Analysis Services Business
Intelligence Development Studio
To make our practice exercise more meaningful, we will make
a minor modification to the Adventure Works database sample a sample
that is available to anyone who installs Analysis Services 2005. We
will perform our modification within the SQL Server Business Intelligence
Development Studio, in the steps that follow.
and click, the SQL
Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, as appropriate.
We briefly see a splash page that lists the components
installed on the PC, and then Visual Studio .NET 2005 opens at the
Close the Start
page, if desired.
-> Open from the main menu.
Services Database ... from the cascading menu, as depicted in Illustration
Illustration 1: Opening the Analysis Services Database ...
to Database dialog appears.
Ensuring that the Connect to existing database radio button is
selected, type the Analysis Server name into the Server input box
atop the dialog.
selector just beneath, labeled Database, select Adventure Works DW,
as shown in Illustration
Illustration 2: Selecting the Sample Analysis Services
Leaving other settings on the dialog at default, click OK.
Server Business Intelligence Development Studio briefly reads the database from
the Analysis Server, and then we see the Solution Explorer
populated with the database objects, as depicted in Illustration 3.
Illustration 3: The Adventure Works DW Database Objects
within the Solution Explorer
As we have noted in the introduction, the ValueColumn
property of a dimension attribute allows us to specify the column
within the underlying data source from which Analysis Services derives
the value of the attribute. ValueColumn is similar to the
NameColumn property (we get some
hands-on exposure to these and other Source property settings in my
Attributes: Introduction and Overview, Part V), in that it offers a
downward arrow selector button that appears to the immediate right of
the property label.
Lets use the selector to replace the default
selection of (none) with a column within the underlying data. For
the purposes of illustration, we will say that, in addition to specific
reporting needs that they outline below, representatives of our hypothetical
client, the Adventure Works organization, have informed us that they
wish to be able to report Postal Code values , along with City
(already the NameColumn setting for the City attribute), within the
Customer dimension of the Adventure Works UDM.
access these settings for the targeted attribute (City) within
the containing dimension (Customer), we will need to open that dimension
within the Dimension Designer first. We
will accomplish this using the Dimension Designer.
Within the Solution Explorer, right-click the Customer
dimension (expand the Dimensions folder as necessary).
on the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 4.
4: Opening the Dimension via the Dimension Designer ...
The tabs of the Dimension
Click the Dimension Structure tab, if
we have not already arrived there by default.
Examine the member
attributes that appear within the Attributes pane of the Dimension Structure tab.
attributes belonging to the Customer dimension
appear as depicted in Illustration 5.
Illustration 5: The Member
Attributes, Customer Dimension
that twenty-one attributes appear within the Attributes pane. At
this stage, we can move to the City attribute to make the simple
modification necessary to support the practice session that follows.