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Grant permissions on a dimension (Analysis Services)

Dimension security is used to set permissions on a dimension object, not its data. Typically, allowing or denying access to processing operations is the main objective when setting permissions on a dimension.

But perhaps your objective is not to control processing operations, but rather data access to a dimension, or the attributes and hierarchies it contains. For example, a company with regional sales divisions might want to make sales performance information off limits to those outside the division. To allow or deny access to portions of dimension data for different constituents, you can set permissions on dimension attributes and dimension members. Notice that you cannot deny access to an individual dimension object itself, only to its data. If your immediate goal is to allow or deny access to members in a dimension, including access rights to individual attribute hierarchies, see Grant custom access to dimension data (Analysis Services) for more information.

The remainder of this topic covers permissions that you can set on the dimension object itself, including:

  • Read or Read/Write permissions (you can only choose from Read or Read/Write; specifying "none" is not an option). As noted, if your goal is to restrict access to dimension data, see Grant custom access to dimension data (Analysis Services) for details.

  • Processing permissions (do this when scenarios require a processing strategy that calls for custom permissions on individual objects)

  • Read definition permissions (typically you would do this to support interactive processing in a tool, or to provide visibility into a model. Read definition lets you see the structure of a dimension, without permission to its data or the ability to modify its definition).

When defining roles for a dimension, available permissions vary depending on whether the object is a standalone database dimension ─internal to the database but external to a cube─ or a cube dimension.

Note Note

By default, permissions on a database dimension are inherited by a cube dimension. For example, if you enable Read/Write on a Customer database dimension, the Customer cube dimension inherits Read/Write in the context of the current role. You can clear inherited permissions if you want to override a permission setting.

Database dimensions are standalone objects within a database, allowing for dimension reuse within the same model. Consider a DATE database dimension that is used multiple times in a model, as Order Date, Ship Date, and Due Date cube dimensions. Because cubes and database dimensions are peer objects in a database, you can set processing permissions independently on each object.

  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the instance of Analysis Services, expand Roles for the appropriate database in Object Explorer, and then click a database role (or create a new database role).

  2. In the Dimensions pane, the dimension set should be set to All database dimensions.

    By default, permissions are set to Read.

    Although Read/Write is available, we recommend that you do not use this permission. Read/Write is used for dimension writeback scenarios, which have been deprecated. See Deprecated Analysis Services Functionality in SQL Server 2014.

    Optionally, you can set Read Definition and Process permissions on individual dimension objects, as long as those permissions are not already set at the database level. See Grant process permissions (Analysis Services) and Grant read definition permissions on object metadata (Analysis Services) for details.

Cube dimensions are database dimensions that have been added to a cube. As such, they are structurally dependent on associated measure groups. Although you can process these objects atomically, in terms of authorization, it makes sense to treat the cube and cube dimensions as a single entity.

  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the instance of Analysis Services, expand Roles for the appropriate database in Object Explorer, and then click a database role (or create a new database role).

  2. In the Dimensions pane, change the dimension set to <cube-name> cube dimensions.

    By default, permissions are inherited from a corresponding database dimension. Clear the Inherit check box to alter permissions from Read to Read/Write. Before using Read/Write, be sure to read the note in the previous section.

Important note Important

If you configure database role permissions by using Analysis Management Objects (AMO), any reference to a cube dimension in a cube's DimensionPermission attribute severs the permission inheritance from the database's DimensionPermission attribute. For more information about AMO, see Developing with Analysis Management Objects (AMO).

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