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Add check boxes to the edit dimension screen to quickly include and exclude attributes from the dimension

dpurdy66
Contributor III
Contributor III

Add check boxes to the edit dimension screen to quickly include and exclude attributes from the dimension

In the edit dimension screen, add a check box beside each attribute.  Checking a box would include the attribute in the dimension and unchecking it would exclude the attribute from the dimension.  This would enable these scenarios.

  1. Easily exclude attributes without deleting them so that if I decide to add it back later, I can simply check the box.  Currently, adding it back requires that I click “new attribute” set then name and data type and then add the column as an expression.
  2. If the edit dimension screen also “rescanned” the underlying entities and relationships when you opened it, I could easily add an attribute to a dimension that was added to the entity after the dimension was created. 
  3. Likewise, if I added a new relationship to an entity used by the dimension, I could easily add attributes from the new related entity.

dpurdy66_0-1655393139127.png

 

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4 Comments
TimGarrod
Employee
Employee

Thanks for the suggestion. 

A concern I have here on real-estate in the screen is since the table "tree" to create a dimension or fact table could be potentially large especially when considering the number of columns in some of the DWH tables it could be overwhelming to have all these in the UI (even with a hide etc. option). 

Is it fair for me to distill the above into these 2 functional requirements - 

1. Edit a dimension should all selection of a DWH entity that was not previously selected and automatically add all attributes into the existing Data Mart object 

2.  Provide a method to show attributes not currently in the DM Object with the option to multi-select and add

Status changed to: Open - Collecting Feedback
dpurdy66
Contributor III
Contributor III

I agree that listing the columns in the "tree" when you are initially creating a dim or fact would be too much.  That needs to stay at the entity level.  The wording of your first bullet is a little wonky and I’m having trouble deciphering your intent 🙂   I’ll just try and expand on my idea a bit.

When creating a dimension,  select a root entity and related entities as per usual.   This creates the initial flattened dimension and includes every attribute of the root entity plus every attribute of the selected, related entities – again no change here.  This is what compose does today.  Same thing happens when dimensions are created via the star schema wizard.

If you want to stop there and let every column be included in the dimension, then great, you’re done.  But, if you want to remove some columns because they aren’t really needed in the dim, you currently just have to delete them from the edit dimension screen.   This is fine I guess – until you decide later that you want to include some of the columns that you previously deleted.  You can do it, but it’s a pain.  

What I am proposing is a “quality of life” UI enhancement allowing the user to include and exclude dimension columns via a check box rather than deleting them from the list.   This is only a UI trick.  The disabled columns would not need be stored in the dimension definition.   The “unchecked” attributes could be added to the attribute grid in the edit dimension dialog by “rescanning” the entities included in the dimension and comparing the entity attributes with those in the dimension.  Every entity attribute that is not in the dimension would appear in the list as “un-checked”.  Checking an unchecked attribute would add it to the dimension.  This would have a side benefit of letting you easily add newly created  entity attributes to an existing dimension (assuming the entity with the new attribute is already included in the dimension).

Taking it a step farther, the edit dimension dialog could also have an “add/remove entities” button that brings up the entity tree with the dimension root at the top.  This dialog would let you include or exclude related entities from the dimension.  Deselecting an entity would remove all of the related attributes from the dimension (bonus points if the dialog did not let you deselect an entity if one of its attributes is used in an expression).  Selecting a previously unselected entity would add the newly selected entity’s attributes to the dimension.  Of course the dialog would not let you deselect the root entity.

Meghann_MacDonald

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Meghann

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Ideation
Explorer II
Explorer II
 
Status changed to: Closed - Archived