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Creating a Standard Dimension

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Modified on Wed, 11 Jul 2012 05:36 PM Categorized as Dimensions
Click to return to: Documentation | Defining Dimensions


To create a standard dimension, you must define each of its levels based upon an existing standard or manual virtual table. Once the levels have been defined, you can view the resulting hierarchy of levels and level members, which is automatically determined from your data.

A standard dimension may also be referred to as a full or regular dimension.

Note: You cannot define a dimension level using a virtual table that is based on functions or stored procedures.

Creating a standard dimension

Step 1 - Create a standard dimension from the Design Explorer

To create a standard dimension from the Design Explorer:

  1. Click Design Explorer in the Sidebar.
    Accessing the Design Explorer from the Sidebar.
  2. Select the Dimensions folder, then click its menu icon.
    The Dimensions menu.
  3. From the Dimensions menu, choose New Dimension.
  4. In the text box below the Dimensions folder, type a name for the dimension, then press ENTER.
    Entering the dimension name.
    The new dimension appears as an item in the Design Explorer and the Dimension Level Definition Wizard is displayed, which lets you add the first level to your dimension.
  5. In the first step of the Dimension Level Definition Wizard, select a virtual table from the grid, then click Next.
    Selecting a virtual table in the Dimension Level Definition Wizard.
  6. In the second step of the Dimension Level Definition Wizard, choose the desired columns from your virtual table by clicking the appropriate check boxes in the Include grid column. For example, you can choose one column to act as a primary key for the level and another column for display name purposes.
    Selecting virtual table columns for the level.
  7. Click Finish. The following occurs:
    • A new dimension item is added to the Design Explorer under the Dimensions folder.
    • A default level, named Level 1, is automatically added to the dimension.
    • The Dimension Hierarchy Explorer is displayed in the Sidebar and shows the current hierarchy for the dimension, which consists of a single level.
    • The Standard Dimension Designer is displayed in the content area of Dundas Dashboard and shows the Level Definition tab. The Level Definition tab lets you configure the dimension level that is currently selected in the Dimension Hierarchy Explorer.
      The Standard Dimension Designer and the Dimension Hierarchy Explorer.

Step 2 - Configure the first dimension level

To configure the initial dimension level:

  1. Select the first level in the Dimension Hierarchy Explorer.
  2. In the Level Definition tab of the Standard Dimension Designer, enter a new name for your level in the Level name box. The level name will be updated automatically in the Dimension Hierarchy Explorer.
    Changing the name of the dimension level.
  3. The virtual table and columns that you selected from the Dimension Level Definition Wizard are shown in the Base virtual table section of the tab. If you want to change the base virtual table, click the Modify this level's table and columns button to open the Dimension Level Definition Wizard, which lets you choose a new virtual table or select different virtual table columns.
  4. In the Base virtual table grid, choose one or more virtual table columns to act as the primary key for the level by selecting the corresponding check boxes in the Key grid column. For example, if your level is called Product Group, the key could be a Product Group ID column.
  5. The Related columns grid automatically lists the pairs of related columns from the current level and its parent level. Each pair (&ie; grid row) consists of a primary key column from the parent level and a corresponding column from the current level. In this case, since there is no parent level, the grid will be empty.
  6. In the Display name column box, choose a virtual table column to serve as the display name for this level.
  7. In the Unknown member name box, enter the name of a member to use for categorizing data that cannot be slotted into one of the existing level members. By default, this member is named (Unknown). The unknown member name shows up when you preview a KPI that uses this dimension and operates on data records which cannot be categorized by the dimension level. See the Unknown members example.
  8. Use the Default sort order dropdown list to specify how you want the members of this level to be sorted by default. The following options are available:
    • By Name - Sort level members according to their display name column values.
    • By Key - Sort level members according to their primary key column values.
    • User-Defined - This option lets you define your own default sort order by:
      • Reordering your chosen columns (select a grid row, then use the four arrow buttons in the upper-right).
      • Specifying an increasing or decreasing sort order for one or more columns (click inside a Sort column cell to cycle through the available sort order options).
        User-Defined sort order.

Note: If you choose to sort the members of your level by display name, the data type of your display name column cannot be text or ntext. These data types do not support sorting and you will receive an error when trying to preview a dimension that uses these data types for sorting.

Step 3 - Add more dimension levels

To add more levels to your dimension, follow the steps as shown in the article, Defining Levels.

Step 4 - Configure general settings

To configure general settings for your dimension:

  1. Select the General tab of the Standard Dimension Designer.
  2. (Optional) Type a description for your dimension in the Description box. You can enter text up to 2000 characters in length.
  3. (Optional) Enter a URL in the Additional info URL box. Use this option to link to a website that provides more information about your dimension. You will be able to access this link from the Additional Information dialog.
  4. Enter the name of a level member that encompasses all of the categories represented by your dimension. By default, this member is named (All).

The General tab for a standard dimension.

The General tab for a standard dimension.

Step 5 - Add custom sort rules

Optionally add one or more custom sort rules to the dimension. A custom sort rule lets you choose specific members of the dimension to appear first (&ie; at the top). See Defining Custom Sort Rules for details.

Step 6 - Preview and save your changes

To complete the configuration of your dimension:

  1. Preview your dimension hierarchy, levels, and level members from the Preview tab in the Standard Dimension Designer:
    • Optionally choose a custom sort rule to apply to the preview.
    • Expand the All member item and each of its child items to see the full hierarchy.
      Preview of a standard dimension.
  2. Click Save in the Dundas Dashboard Toolbar to save your changes.
    The Save button.
  3. Click Check In from the Toolbar.
    The Check In button.
    Optionally enter a comment in the Check In dialog, then click Check in.

Note: The preview operation for a dimension with a very large number of members (⪚ over one million) may fail and result in an application error message being displayed. Also, the preview will fail if your dimension is based on a manual virtual table that uses an ORDER BY clause.

Related topics

Click to return to: Documentation | Defining Dimensions

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