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Modifying the Customer Dimension

There are many different ways that you can increase the usability and functionality of the dimensions in a cube. In the tasks in this topic, you modify the Customer dimension.

You can change attribute names with the Dimension Structure tab of Dimension Designer.

To rename an attribute

  1. Switch to Dimension Designer for the Customer dimension in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). To do this, double-click the Customer dimension in the Dimensions node of Solution Explorer.

  2. In the Attributes pane, right-click English Country Region Name, and then click Rename. Change the name of the attribute to Country-Region.

  3. Change the names of the following attributes in the same manner:

    • English Education attribute — change to Education

    • English Occupation attribute — change to Occupation

    • State Province Name attribute — change to State-Province

  4. On the File menu, click Save All.

You can create a new hierarchy by dragging an attribute from the Attributes pane to the Hierarchies pane.

To create a hierarchy

  1. Drag the Country-Region attribute from the Attributes pane into the Hierarchies pane.

  2. Drag the State-Province attribute from the Attributes pane into the <new level> cell in the Hierarchies pane, underneath the Country-Region level.

  3. Drag the City attribute from the Attributes pane into the <new level> cell in the Hierarchies pane, underneath the State-Province level.

  4. In the Hierarchies pane of the Dimension Structure tab, right-click the title bar of the Hierarchy hierarchy, select Rename, and then type Customer Geography.

    The name of the hierarchy is now Customer Geography.

  5. On the File menu, click Save All.

You can add a named calculation, which is a SQL expression that is represented as a calculated column, to a table in a data source view. The expression appears and behaves as a column in the table. Named calculations let you extend the relational schema of existing tables in a data source view without modifying the table in the underlying data source. For more information, see Define Named Calculations in a Data Source View (Analysis Services)

To add a named calculation

  1. Open the Adventure Works DW 2012 data source view by double-clicking it in the Data Source Views folder in Solution Explorer.

  2. In the Tables pane on the left, right-click Customer, and then click New Named Calculation.

  3. In the Create Named Calculation dialog box, type FullName in the Column name box, and then type or copy and paste the following CASE statement in the Expression box:

    CASE
       WHEN MiddleName IS NULL THEN
       FirstName + ' ' + LastName
       ELSE
       FirstName + ' ' + MiddleName + ' ' + LastName
    END
    

    The CASE statement concatenates the FirstName, MiddleName, and LastName columns into a single column that you will use in the Customer dimension as the displayed name for the Customer attribute.

  4. Click OK, and then expand Customer in the Tables pane.

    The FullName named calculation appears in the list of columns in the Customer table, with an icon that indicates that it is a named calculation.

  5. On the File menu, click Save All.

  6. In the Tables pane, right-click Customer, and then click Explore Data.

  7. Review the last column in the Explore Customer Table view.

    Notice that the FullName column appears in the data source view, correctly concatenating data from several columns from the underlying data source and without modifying the original data source.

  8. Close the Explore Customer Table tab.

After you have created a named calculation in the data source view, you can use the named calculation as a property of an attribute.

To use the named calculation for member names

  1. Switch to Dimension Designer for the Customer dimension.

  2. In the Attributes pane of the Dimension Structure tab, click the Customer Key attribute.

  3. Open the Properties window and click the Auto Hide button on the title bar so that it stays open.

  4. In the Name property field, type Full Name.

  5. Click in the NameColumn property field at the bottom, and then click the browse () button to open the Name Column dialog box.

  6. Select FullName at the bottom of the Source column list, and then click OK.

  7. In the Dimensions Structure tab, drag the Full Name attribute from the Attributes pane into the <new level> cell in the Hierarchies pane, underneath the City level.

  8. On the File menu, click Save All.

You can use display folders to group user and attribute hierarchies into folder structures to increase usability.

To define display folders

  1. Open the Dimension Structure tab for the Customer dimension.

  2. In the Attributes pane, select the following attributes by holding down the CTRL key while clicking each of them:

    • City

    • Country-Region

    • Postal Code

    • State-Province

  3. In the Properties window, click the AttributeHierarchyDisplayFolder property field at the top (you might need to point to it to see the full name), and then type Location.

  4. In the Hierarchies pane, click Customer Geography, and then in the Properties window on the right, select Location as the value of the DisplayFolder property.

  5. In the Attributes pane, select the following attributes by holding down the CTRL key while clicking each of them:

    • Commute Distance

    • Education

    • Gender

    • House Owner Flag

    • Marital Status

    • Number Cars Owned

    • Number Children At Home

    • Occupation

    • Total Children

    • Yearly Income

  6. In the Properties window, click the AttributeHierarchyDisplayFolder property field at the top, and then type Demographic.

  7. In the Attributes pane, select the following attributes by holding down the CTRL key while clicking each of them:

    • Email Address

    • Phone

  8. In the Properties window, click the AttributeHierarchyDisplayFolder property field and type Contacts.

  9. On the File menu, click Save All.

The KeyColumns property contains the column or columns that represent the key for the attribute. In this lesson, you create a composite key for the City and State-Province attributes. Composite keys can be helpful when you need to uniquely identify an attribute. For example, when you define attribute relationships later in this tutorial, a City attribute must uniquely identify a State-Province attribute. However, there could be several cities with the same name in different states. For this reason, you will create a composite key that is composed of the StateProvinceName and City columns for the City attribute. For more information, see Modify the KeyColumn Property of an Attribute.

To define composite KeyColumns for the City attribute

  1. Open the Dimension Structure tab for the Customer dimension.

  2. In the Attributes pane, click the City attribute.

  3. In the Properties window, click in the KeyColumns field near the bottom, and then click the browse (...) button.

  4. In the Key Columns dialog box, in the Available Columns list, select the column StateProvinceName, and then click the > button.

    The City and StateProvinceName columns are now displayed in the Key Columns list.

  5. Click OK.

  6. To set the NameColumn property of the City attribute, click the NameColumn field in the Properties window, and then click the browse (...) button.

  7. In the Name Column dialog box, in the Source column list, select City, and then click OK.

  8. On the File menu, click Save All.

To define composite KeyColumns for the State-Province attribute

  1. Make sure the Dimension Structure tab for the Customer dimension is open.

  2. In the Attributes pane, click the State-Province attribute.

  3. In the Properties window, click in the KeyColumns field, and then click the browse (...) button.

  4. In the Key Columns dialog box, in the Available Columns list, select the column EnglishCountryRegionName, and then click the > button.

    The EnglishCountryRegionName and StateProvinceName columns are now displayed in the Key Columns list.

  5. Click OK.

  6. To set the NameColumn property of the State-Province attribute, click the NameColumn field in the Properties window, and then click the browse (...) button.

  7. In the Name Column dialog box, in the Source column list, select StateProvinceName, and then click OK.

  8. On the File menu, click Save All.

If the underlying data supports it, you should define attribute relationships between attributes. Defining attribute relationships speeds up dimension, partition, and query processing. For more information, see Define Attribute Relationships and Attribute Relationships.

To define attribute relationships

  1. In the Dimension Designer for the Customer dimension, click the Attribute Relationships tab. You might need to wait.

  2. In the diagram, right-click the City attribute, and then click New Attribute Relationship.

  3. In the Create Attribute Relationship dialog box, the Source Attribute is City. Set the Related Attribute to State-Province.

  4. In the Relationship type list, set the relationship type to Rigid.

    The relationship type is Rigid because relationships between the members will not change over time. For example, it would be unusual for a city to become part of a different state or province.

  5. Click OK.

  6. In the diagram, right-click the State-Province attribute and then select New Attribute Relationship.

  7. In the Create Attribute Relationship dialog box, the Source Attribute is State-Province. Set the Related Attribute to Country-Region.

  8. In the Relationship type list, set the relationship type to Rigid.

  9. Click OK.

  10. On the File menu, click Save All.

After you have changed attributes and hierarchies, you must deploy the changes and reprocess the related objects before you can view the changes.

To deploy the changes, process the objects, and view the changes

  1. On the Build menu of SQL Server Data Tools, click Deploy Analysis Services Tutorial.

  2. After you receive the Deployment Completed Successfully message, click the Browser tab of Dimension Designer for the Customer dimension, and then click the Reconnect button on the left side of the toolbar of the designer.

  3. Verify that Customer Geography is selected in the Hierarchy list, and then in the browser pane, expand All, expand Australia, expand New South Wales, and then expand Coffs Harbour.

    The browser displays the customers in the city.

  4. Switch to Cube Designer for the Analysis Services Tutorial cube. To do this, double-click the Analysis Services Tutorial cube in the Cubes node of Solution Explorer.

  5. Click the Browser tab, and then click the Reconnect button on the toolbar of the designer.

  6. In the Measure Group pane, expand Customer.

    Notice that instead of a long list of attributes, only the display folders and the attributes that do not have display folder values appear underneath Customer.

  7. On the File menu, click Save All.

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