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Implementing Function-playing Dimension in SSAS Tabular Fashions

To begin with I’d like to clarify what a Function-playing dimension really means. Then I’ll specific the way in which you possibly can implement it in a SSAS tabular mannequin.

Once you hyperlink a dimension to a truth desk a number of occasions for logically distinctive roles you’re utilizing a role-playing dimension.

The important thing factors are:

1.       You might be linking a truth desk to a dimension a number of occasions. The relationships are outlined by linking a number of overseas keys within the truth desk to a single key within the dimension desk.

2.       Every linkage represents a single position or idea

The preferred role-playing dimensions are DimDate and DimTime. Do you wish to see easy methods to implement Function Enjoying Dimensions in Energy BI, Click on right here and right here.

NOTE: The pattern is from Microsoft “AdventureWorksDW” for SQL Server 2012 and may be completely different from your personal information warehouse design.

As an example, in a gross sales system that you’ve got one thing like FactInternetSales truth desk which has a number of hyperlinks, or relationships, to a DimDate or DimAddress for distinct ideas like “Order Date”, “Ship Date” and “Due Date”.

As you see, all the above columns clearly signify completely different meanings of date. Within the information warehouse design you’ll see one thing like this:

role-playing dimension 01

Though that is completely OK within the relational database layer, however, this kind of relationship is NOT permitted within the tabular mannequin, so what ought to we do?

Let’s take a look on the tabular mannequin in SQL Server Knowledge Instruments (SSDT) and see the way it appears to be like once we import the mannequin straight from SQL Server information supply.

·         Open SSDT and create a brand new evaluation companies tabular mission (I assumed you know the way to create a brand new mission in SSDT)

·         Click on on “Import From Knowledge Supply”, then choose “Microsoft SQL Server” then click on “Subsequent”

role-playing dimension 02

·         Enter the server title and choose “AdventureWorksDW” from the database listing then click on “Subsequent”

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·         Entre impersonation data and click on “Subsequent”

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·         Click on “Subsequent”

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·         Right here you possibly can choose all tables and views you have to import into your tabular mannequin. In our pattern we simply want “FactInternetSales” and “DimDate” tables. So tick the “FactInternetSales” and “DimDate” tables after which click on “End”.

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·         Shut the “Desk Import Wizard”

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·         Change to “Diagram View”. As you possibly can see there is only one Energetic relationship between DimDate and FactInternetSales tables and each different relationships are Inactive which means you can not straight use the imported DimDate for all three functions you have to cowl the “Order Date”, “Ship Date” and “Due Date”. Because of this you can not slice and cube a single measure with all roles on the identical time, which in our instance they’re “Order Date”, “Ship Date” and “Due Date”. I clarify extra later on this publish.

role-playing dimension 08

1.       Importing DimDate into your tabular mannequin a number of occasions:

In our pattern we have to import it thrice to cowl “Order Date”, Ship Date” and “Due Date”.

a.       Delete the inactive relationships

role-playing dimension 09

b.      Double click on on the DimDate desk title to rename it to a consumer pleasant title. Identify it “Order Date”.

role-playing dimension 10

c.       To make our pattern extra untestable I created a brand new hierarchy named “Order Date Particulars” which incorporates “CalendarYear”, “EnglishMonthName” and “FullDateAlternateKey”. A additionally renamed the columns to make the extra consumer pleasant to “Yr”, “Month” and “Full Date”. As well as, I set all different columns within the DimDate desk to “Cover from Shopper Instruments”. I additionally renamed the “FactInternetSales” desk to “Web Gross sales”.

role-playing dimension 11

d.      We’ve got efficiently setup the “Order Date” date and now we have to import the DimDate desk once more to help the “Ship Date”. To take action, from the “Mannequin” menu choose “Current Connections…”

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e.      Click on “Open”

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f.        Click on “Subsequent”

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g.       Choose DimDate from the listing once more and click on “End”. This course of will import the DimDate desk to the mannequin once more. We are going to then set it as much as cowl “Ship Date”. To take action, hyperlink “ShipDateKey” from “Web Gross sales” desk to “DateKey” from “DimDate” desk.

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h.      Now repeat the above sections from b to g however, title the “DimDate” desk “Ship Date”. Repeat the above sections once more so as to add “Due Date” to the mannequin.

i.         We’re carried out and we are able to merely slice and cube primarily based on all the above dates.

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j.        Because the tabular mannequin doesn’t detect the measures routinely we have to outline not less than a measure to have the ability to check the answer. To take action swap to “Grid View” and choose the “Web Gross sales” then outline a measure for “Complete Gross sales Quantity”. To take action simply click on on measures part below the “SalesAmount” column then click on the Sigma (clip_image021) button from the toolbar. Then rename the created measure to “Complete Gross sales Quantity”.

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okay.       Now we are able to check the answer by choosing “Analyze in Excel” from “Mannequin” menu

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l.         Tick “Complete Gross sales Quantity” and “Due Date Particulars” hierarchy. You possibly can drilldown to month and day ranges.

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m.    You are able to do the identical for every of the opposite dates or you may make a mix of dates in case you want such a report.

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2.       Creating a number of SQL Server views within the  database:

In our instance, in “AdventureWorksDW” database, we create three views for every position (Order Date, Ship Date, Due Date). We create these views on prime of the prevailing DimDate with completely different names resembling the three completely different roles. Then we import these views into our tabular mannequin and hyperlink every of them to the “Web Gross sales” desk utilizing the suitable overseas key. As the entire course of is identical as what we’ve carried out beforehand within the first resolution, I’m not going to clarify it once more. So, on the finish of the day, we may have one thing like this within the database:

role-playing dimension 21

Now you can import the above views to your tabular as a substitute of importing the entire DimDate desk a number of occasions. It will cut back the database measurement and it’s a bit simpler to grasp. Nonetheless this resolution is similar to the primary resolution . Principally the structure is sort of the identical, however, the way in which we handle the tables is a bit completely different.

role-playing dimension 22

And the identical ends in Excel:

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3.    Creating a number of measures: 

The third resolution, which might be the perfect for almost all of use instances, is totally the alternative of what we now have carried out up to now. Properly, I can say that the structure is sort of completely different. On this resolution we DO NOT take away the Inactive Relationships and furthermore, we DO NOT import a number of copies of Date dimension.

Role Playing Dimension in SSAS Tabular

What we must always do on this case is to create new measures for every position which suggests we may have the next three measures in our instance:

1- Complete Gross sales Quantity by Order Date

2- Complete Gross sales Quantity by Ship Date

3- Complete Gross sales Quantity by Due Date

What we’re doing on this resolution is that we handle to make use of the connection which is related to the roles. To try this we simply must implement the info mannequin to activate the connection we want. We will simply lively and inactive relationship in DAX utilizing USERELATIONSHIP operate. The USERELATIONSHIP operate, disables all lively relationships first, then prompts a desired relationship. USERELATIONSHIP operate can be utilized as part of different capabilities that take filters as arguments. Because of this we all the time use USERELATIONSHIP as part of a CALCULATE operate (or different capabilities that settle for filter arguments). Subsequently, the above three measures will seem like under:

1- Complete Gross sales Quantity by Order Date:= SUM(‘Web Gross sales'[Sales Amount])

2- Complete Gross sales Quantity by Ship Date :=  CALCULATE(SUM(‘Web Gross sales'[Sales Amount]), USERELATIONSHIP(‘Date'[DateKey], ‘Web Gross sales'[ShipDateKey])

3- Complete Gross sales Quantity by Due Date :=  CALCULATE(SUM(‘Web Gross sales'[Sales Amount]), USERELATIONSHIP(‘Date'[DateKey], ‘Web Gross sales'[DueDateKey]))

As you possibly can see within the first measure we haven’t used USERELATIONSHIP. The rationale is that the measure makes use of the connection which is lively by default within the mannequin, subsequently we don’t must implement it once more. The opposite two measures alternatively are implementing related relationships for use inside the measures.

Managing Role Playing Dimensions in SSAS Tabular with Measures

Lastly, right here is the way it appears to be like like whenever you analyse the mannequin in Excel:

Managing Role Playing Dimensions in SSAS Tabular with Measures in Excel

Every of the three options mentioned above have professionals and cons.

Execs of the primary two options, importing a number of Date dimensions:

1- In case your mannequin is a small mannequin then it might be faster to develop the mannequin

2- It will be simpler for the top consumer to have completely different Date choices. You should have separate slicers within the visualisation layer for every position.

3- You possibly can have only one measure and slice and cube it by completely different roles individually


1- In case your mannequin just isn’t small and you’ve got way more position taking part in dimensions to handle you then’ll find yourself importing these dimensions a number of occasions which isn’t environment friendly

2- Having a number of completely different position taking part in dimensions everywhere in the mannequin will likely be actually complicated for the top consumer and you’ll really want to spend extra time/cash to coach the top customers

3- You eat extra storage and reminiscence which is once more not that environment friendly 

Execs of the final resolution, creating a number of measures:

1- You should use all of the roles side-by-side as you actually have a separate measure for every position

2– You aren’t importing a number of copies of the roles, as an illustration, you may have only one Date dimension that can be utilized to slice and cube all your measures throughout the entire mannequin

3- It’s extra environment friendly when it comes to storage and reminiscence consumption

4- Your mannequin is way more tidy whenever you don’t have a number of roles everywhere in the mannequin


1- In massive fashions with a number of completely different roles, creating a number of completely different measures to help completely different roles could be time consuming and likewise a bit laborious to take care of

2- The measure names are getting lengthy

3- Having a number of completely different measures that look very related generally is a bit complicated for the top consumer 

All carried out!



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