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Viewing a Data Structure

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Modified on Thu, 09 May 2013 02:47 PM Categorized as Data Connectors, Data Preparation, OLAP
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Overview

This article shows how to view the definition of a discovered data structure and optionally preview a subset of its data. You can use this feature to help you decide which tables, views, functions, stored procedures, or cubes are needed for virtual table (or virtual cube) design.

Viewing a data structure from the Design Explorer

Viewing a database table

To view the definition of a database table and preview its data:

  1. Expand your data connector item in the Design Explorer.
  2. Expand the Tables folder, then select a table to view.
    Selected table item.
    Tip: You can further expand a table, view, function, or stored procedure item in the Design Explorer to see its list of columns/parameters and their corresponding data types.

  3. Click the table's menu button, then choose View from the resulting menu. The table and column definitions are displayed in the Definition tab of the Data Structure Viewer.
    Definition tab for a database table.
  4. Click the Preview tab.
  5. (Optional) Enter the maximum number of data records you want to preview in the box provided.
  6. Click Refresh. The data records from the table are displayed in a grid.
    Data Preview tab for a database table.

Viewing a database view

To view the definition of a database view and preview its data:

  1. Expand your data connector item in the Design Explorer.
  2. Expand the Views folder, then select a database view.
  3. Click the database view's menu button, then choose View from the resulting menu. The database view definition is displayed in the Definition tab of the Data Structure Viewer.
  4. Click the Preview tab.
  5. (Optional) Enter the maximum number of data records you want to preview in the box provided.
  6. Click Refresh. The data records from the view are displayed in a grid.

Viewing a database function

To view the definition of a database function and preview its data:

  1. Expand your data connector item in the Design Explorer.
  2. Expand the Functions folder, then select a database function to view.
  3. Click the function's menu button, then choose View from the resulting menu. The definition of the function is displayed in the Definition tab of the Data Structure Viewer.
  4. Click the Preview tab. A grid displays the input parameters for the function.
  5. For each row in the grid, click inside the Value cell and enter a value for the corresponding parameter.
  6. (Optional) Enter the maximum number of data records you want to preview in the box provided.
  7. Click Refresh. The data records returned by the function are displayed in a grid.

Viewing a stored procedure

To view the definition of a stored procedure and preview its data:

  1. Expand your data connector item in the Design Explorer.
  2. Expand the Stored Procedures folder, then select a stored procedure to view.
    Selected stored procedure.
  3. Click the stored procedure's menu button, then choose View from the resulting menu. The definition of the stored procedure is displayed in the Definition tab of the Data Structure Viewer. The Direction grid column indicates whether the parameter is an input parameter or an output parameter. The Required grid column indicates whether the parameter is mandatory or optional. A parameter is optional if it has a default value as defined by the stored procedure.
    Definition tab for a stored procedure.
  4. Click the Preview tab. A grid displays the input parameters for the stored procedure. For each parameter, its value in the grid is set to Null initially, or to Default if the parameter is optional.
  5. For each row in the grid, click inside the Value cell and enter a different value for the corresponding parameter if desired.
    Data Preview tab for a stored procedure.
  6. (Optional) Enter the maximum number of data records you want to preview in the box provided.
  7. Click Refresh. The data records returned by the stored procedure are displayed in a grid.

Parameter value controls

Depending on the data type of the stored procedure parameter, you can enter parameter values in the Preview tab by using convenient controls such as numeric up-down selectors and date pickers.

Using a numeric up-down control to set a parameter value.

Using a numeric up-down control to set a parameter value.


Using a date-picker to set a parameter value.

Using a date-picker to set a parameter value.


To the right of each value control there is a drop-down menu button that lets you set a parameter to its default value, or to the Null value. These options are also referred to as tokens. The Default option only appears if the parameter has a default value as defined by the stored procedure itself.

Setting a parameter to its default value.

Setting a parameter to its default value.


Viewing a cube

To view a discovered cube (for an OLAP data connector such as Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services):

  1. Expand your data connector item in the Design Explorer.
  2. Expand the Cubes folder, then select a cube to view.
    Selected stored procedure.
  3. Click the cube's menu button, then choose View from the resulting menu. The Cube Viewer is displayed in the content area.
    The Cube Viewer.

You can use the Cube Viewer to perform some analysis on your cube data. But to actually use the cube in an analytical dashboard you must first create a virtual cube based on your data connector.

Note: If your SSAS cube definition is updated (⪚ changed a property of a measure), the Cube Viewer will not reflect the latest changes unless you perform a re-discovery with the associated data connector. See Discovering Data Structures.

Viewing a data structure from the Full List Screen

You can also view a database table, view, function, or stored procedure from the Full List of data structures as described in the article, Discovering Data Structures.

The full list of tables for a data connector.

The full list of tables for a data connector.


Related topics


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