Introduction to SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services: Handling Time Dimensions - Page 6

September 20, 2002

Building and Managing a Calendar Time Dimension

We now enter the dimension phase of the guided cube build, where we will begin our exploration of the Calendar Time dimension.

Creating the Calendar Time Dimension with the Dimension Wizard

The Cube Wizard now prompts us to select dimensions for our cube. The dimensions are, as yet, undefined, and at this stage we will launch the Dimension Wizard to begin designation of the dimensions.

26.  Click the New Dimension button.

The Dimension Wizard -- Welcome dialog appears, as shown in Illustration 15 below:

Illustration 15: The Dimension Wizard Appears

27.  Click Next.

The Dimension Wizard prompts us to choose how we want to create the dimension in the dialog that appears next.

28.  Click the radio button alongside the Star Schema: A Single Dimension Table option, as shown below:

Illustration 16: Select the Single Table Option

29.  Click Next.

We are prompted at the next dialog to select the dimension table.

30.  Select the time_by_day table in the Available Tables pane to populate the Details pane to its right, as depicted in Illustration 17.

Illustration 17: Select time_by_day as the Dimension Table

We have the luxury of choosing a separate time dimension table from the sample database -- a luxury not afforded in some real world scenarios, as we discussed in the Where Do You Find the Time...? section above.

31.  Click Next.

In the next dialog, we are prompted to select the dimension Type. The Time selection provides many pre-defined setpoints, and is based upon various common assumptions that, in many cases, provide accurate and speedy setup of the time dimension as part of rapidly creating a cube structure through the use of the wizards. We will investigate these setpoints later in the lesson, and determine which might serve as opportunities for customization.

32.  Click the radio button immediately to the left of the Time Dimension option to select it.

The associated selector dropdown list below our chosen option becomes activated, allowing us to choose from more than one date field, when the wizard detects the presence of multiple possible date columns. The dialog now appears as shown below:

Illustration 18: Selection of a Time Dimension Dimension Type

Page 7: Managing a Calendar Time Dimension (Continued)