Feb 232015
 

PowerPivot for Excel is a fantastic addition to Microsoft’s Business Intelligence offering.  It provides a self-service capability for users to mash-up huge amounts of data from multiple sources, create advanced calculations that get refreshed alongside their pivot tables and the ability to very easily publish workbooks as web applications.  Excel users are already comfortable with the interface.  And the PowerPivot add-in is free for Excel 2010 and 2013 users. 

There are pros and cons to using any one of PowerPivot for Excel, PowerPivot for SharePoint, SSAS Tabular or SSAS multidimensional.  Melissa Coates has written a great article on when to use which type of model. While PowerPivot for Excel is a fairly robust and flexible tool for individual users, there are many reasons why you might promote an Excel Tabular model to SQL Server Analysis Services. 

PowerPivot for Excel can be a great starting point for users to decide what information they want to include in a model. It allows them to play with the data and refine the model until it houses the main information that they need to see on a regular basis, in a format they can easily consume.  What can happen is that the workbooks get emailed around and get out of synch between users.  Or the data gets too large and the model takes forever to refresh.  Or the in-memory calculations take too long to load.

When this happens you might want to promote your Excel Tabular model to SSAS, if your infrastructure supports it.  It means the flexibility for users to mash-up additional data is lost, but the gains in stability, scalability, security and other features can be well worth the move.  Microsoft has made this promotion of a model very easy to do.

1. Create a new SSAS Project

Open up SQL Server Data Tools.  In the File menu click New and then Project.  In the New Project dialog box, under Installed Templates expand Business Intelligence and select Analysis Services.  On the right select Import from PowerPivot.

Browse for a location and enter a name for your project, and then click OK.

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In the Tabular model designer dialog you can enter the SSAS instance you will use for model.  It will need to be an SSAS instance running in Tabular mode.

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In the Open dialog box select the PowerPivot model for Excel that you will be converting to SSAS.

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It will take a minute or two to load the model into the project.

2. Check and refine your model

In the solution explorer, double click on the Model.bim top open up the imported model. 

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You will see the tabs similar to the PowerPivot model near the bottom of the screen, and any warnings, errors or messages. 

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Here you can do any edits to your model.  The interface is very similar to PowerPivot.  You can delete, hide or show data tabs from Client Tools by right clicking on the tab. 

You can manage the model from the Model menu.

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You can edit the table properties and manage the relationships from the Table menu.

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You can add, edit and manage calculations and columns within the table tab.

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3. Deploy the Model to Analysis Services

From the Build menu, you can build and deploy your model.  You can troubleshoot any deployment issues by following the error messages that pop up in the Deployment dialog in the Message column.

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4.  Connect to your SSAS Tabular Model

You can connect to the model through Excel or SSMS or any other client tool that can consume an SSAS model.  In Excel, you won’t be using PowerPivot, rather you will be using the SSAS Tabular model as a direct data source.

In Excel, click on the Data tab, click on From Other Sources and then From Analysis Services.

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Enter the server name where you deployed your model, then select the database and model that you deployed.

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You can now use this as a classic Pivot Table data source.

 

I’ve noticed that the Tabular model is not as robust or responsive as the multi-dimensional model when you get to larger sets of data.  This is because it does everything in memory.  The converse of this is also true for smaller sets.  Because it is in-memory it can retrieve information and do calculations more quickly for smaller data sets.  Multi-dimensional models have additional features that Tabular does not have.  Richard Lees did an interesting comparison of Tabular vs Multidimensional.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the flexibility of PowerPivot can be exchanged in favour of the stability and scalability of a traditional SSAS deployed model.  Having users develop their own tabular models in PowerPivot and then have I.T. manage and deploy it to a wider audience allows for a great partnership and a quick development cycle.

May 122014
 

I have a client whose data is large enough that their cube needs to be partitioned monthly.  This process needed to be automated.  I would like to thank Vidas Matelis for posting the scripts he used to do this, here.  I started with his scripts and changed a number of things to get it to work in my environment.  This is done in SQL 2008. Here is how it works.

1.  Create schema and tables to hold the partition definitions
USE [yourdatabase]
GO

CREATE SCHEMA [config] AUTHORIZATION [dbo]
GO

CREATE TABLE [config].[SSASPartitions](
    [CubeName] [varchar](100) NOT NULL,
    [MeasureGroup] [varchar](100) NOT NULL,
    [Partition] [varchar](100) NOT NULL,
    [SQL] [varchar](3000) NOT NULL,
    [MinDateKey] [int] NOT NULL,
    [MaxDateKey] [int] NOT NULL,
    [NeedsReProcessing] [bit] NOT NULL,
    [LastProcessDate] [smalldatetime] NULL,
 CONSTRAINT [PK_SSASPartitions] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
(
    [CubeName] ASC,
    [MeasureGroup] ASC,
    [Partition] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX  = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE  = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS  = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS  = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]
GO

CREATE TABLE [config].[SSASPartitionsBase](
    [CubeName] [varchar](100) NOT NULL,
    [MeasureGroup] [varchar](100) NOT NULL,
    [FactTableName] [varchar](3000) NOT NULL,
    [PartitionFieldName] [varchar](100) NULL,
    [TableStartDateKey] [int] NULL,
    [LoadType1] [varchar](20) NULL,
    [LoadType2] [varchar](20) NULL,
    [LoadType3] [varchar](20) NULL,
 CONSTRAINT [PK_SSASPartitionsBase] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
(
    [CubeName] ASC,
    [MeasureGroup] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX  = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE  = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS  = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS  = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]
GO
2. Add Execute SQL tasks to populate the tables with Measure Group and Partition definitions

This is the first container in the package, which simply populates the tables created in step 1.

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Add these Execute SQL Tasks to your SSIS package.

2a) Delete FROM SSASPartitionsBase

Delete FROM config.SSASPartitionsBase
2b) Insert Measure Groups

Below you will find some examples of rows to be inserted into the SSASPartitionsBase table.  This table is used as the base for building out the partition definitions.  You will need one record for each measure group in your cube, regardless of one or many partitions.  If you will require multiple partitions for a measure group, you must populate the PartitionFieldName and the TableStartDateKey so the script will know what SQL to write to define the partitions.

If you are pulling data into your cube using a query rather then directly from a table you must enter it here.

You may want to use LoadType if you will be defining different partitions for different data sets.  I am not using this because any of my measure groups that need multiple partitions will use the same periods for the partitions.  This will become clearer when we look at the Stored Procedure which populates the SSASPartitions table.

INSERT INTO config.SSASPartitionsBase
(
CubeName, 
MeasureGroup, 
FactTableName, 
PartitionFieldName, 
TableStartDateKey, 
LoadType1)

-----------------------------------------
--Single partition does not require PartitionFieldName or TableStartDateKey
-----------------------------------------

--FACT table with single partition
-----------------------------------------
SELECT 'Sales and Inventory' as CubeName, 
'Planning' as MeasureGroup, 
'FACT_Planning' as FactTableName, 
NULL as PartitionFieldName,
NULL as TableStartDateKey, 
'Planning' as LoadType1

UNION

--FACT table with multiple partitions
-----------------------------------------
SELECT 'Sales and Inventory' as CubeName, 
'Inv OH' as MeasureGroup, 
'FACT_Inv_OH' as FactTableName, 
'Date' as PartitionFieldName, --Required
'20070101' as TableStartDateKey, --Required
'Inventory' as LoadType1

UNION


--View on Fact Tables with multiple partitions
-----------------------------------------
SELECT 'Sales and Inventory' as CubeName, 
'Sales' as MeasureGroup, 
'vwFACT_Sales' as FactTableName, --Required
'Transaction_Date' as PartitionFieldName, --Required
'20070101' as TableStartDateKey, 
'Sales' as LoadType1

UNION

--Query on a FACT table with single partition
--no PartitionFieldName or TableStartDateKey
-----------------------------------------
SELECT 'Sales and Inventory' as CubeName, 
'Purchase Orders' as MeasureGroup, 
'(SELECT Expected_Receipt_Date, Product_ID, 
  SUM(Due_In_Quantity) AS Open_PO_DueTW_Quantity
  FROM FACT_PO AS PO WHERE (Due_In_Quantity > 0) 
  AND (Expected_Receipt_Date <= GETDATE()) 
  GROUP BY Expected_Receipt_Date, Product_ID) X' 
     as FactTableName,  
NULL as PartitionFieldName,
NULL as TableStartDateKey, 
'PO' as LoadType1
2c) Delete Current Open Period partitions

Because I have other SSIS packages that process the Open Period during the week, I need to have one partition in each multi-partition measure group that has a consistent name.  I have a naming convention like “Sales Current Open Period” or “Inv OH Current Open Period”.  The definition of the Current Open Period changes periodically, as a new monthly partition is created.  For example I might have a Current Open Period of Nov 1 to current day.  Let’s on November 30 a partition is saved off and the Current Open Period becomes Dec 1 to current day.  The Current Open Period partition needs to be dropped and recreated each time the script is run, to be sure that any new definition will be captured and processed.   Dropping it from the SSASPartitions table ensure that it will be reinserted with the updated definition.

Delete
  FROM [config].[SSASPartitions]
  WHERE Partition like '%Open Period'
2d) Update Process status of all partitions to be processed

Any single partition measure groups need to be reprocessed every time the script is run. We can identify these measure groups as those where MinDateKey=0.  This task flags these single partition measure groups to be processed.

  UPDATE config.SSASPartitions 
  SET NeedsReProcessing = 1 
  WHERE MinDateKey=0
2e) Execute sp_Execute_CalculateSSASPartitions to add any new partitions to the SSASPartitions table

This stored procedure kicks off a stored procedure which adds any new partitions to the SSASPartitions table.

EXECUTE sp_CalculateSSASPartitions 
Stored Procedure

This is the stored procedure which uses the SSASPartitionsBase table to populate the SSASPartitions table.

USE [yourdatabase]
GO

/****** Object:  StoredProcedure [dbo].[sp_CalculateSSASPartitions]    Script Date: 05/12/2014 15:45:17 ******/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO

SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO


CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[sp_CalculateSSASPartitions]
WITH RECOMPILE 
AS 
BEGIN

SET NOCOUNT ON
PRINT 'Executing SP: CalculateSSASPartitions'

-- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--Create temp table
IF OBJECT_ID('tempdb..#tmpPart') IS NOT NULL DROP TABLE #tmpPart
CREATE TABLE #tmpPart (
CubeName varchar(100) NOT NULL
, MeasureGroup varchar(100) NOT NULL
, [Partition] varchar(200) NOT NULL
, [SQL] varchar(3000) NOT NULL
, MinDateKey int NOT NULL
, MaxDateKey int NOT NULL
)

-----------Partitions using Archive tables-----------
INSERT INTO #tmpPart(CubeName, MeasureGroup, [Partition], [SQL], MinDateKey, MaxDateKey)
SELECT 
P.CubeName, 
P.MeasureGroup,
P.MeasureGroup + ' ' + D.PartitionName AS Partition,
'SELECT * FROM ' + 
    CASE WHEN D.PartitionName = 'Current Open Period' THEN P.FactTableName ELSE P.FactTableName  + '_Archive' END
    + ' WHERE ' + P.PartitionFieldName
    + CASE WHEN MinDateKey = MaxDateKey THEN '=' + CONVERT(varchar, MinDateKey)
    ELSE ' BETWEEN ''' + CONVERT(varchar, D.MinDateKey) + ''' AND ''' + CONVERT(varchar, D.MaxDateKey) + ''''
    END
AS SQL,
CASE WHEN D.MinDateKey < P.TableStartDateKey THEN P.TableStartDateKey ELSE D.MinDateKey END AS MinDateKey,
D.MaxDateKey
FROM config.SSASPartitionsBase P
JOIN (
    --Add FiscalYear/Month partitions up to Closed Period
    SELECT CAST(FiscalMonthID as varchar) AS PartitionName, MIN(DateID) AS MinDateKey, MAX(DateID) AS MaxDateKey
        FROM DIM_Date
        WHERE FiscalYearID >= (SELECT DISTINCT FiscalYearID FROM DIM_Date WHERE TheDate = CAST(DATEADD(year, -3, GETDATE()) as Date))
        AND TheDate <= (SELECT MAX(ClosedDate) FROM DIM_Closed_Period WHERE DataArchived = 1)
        GROUP BY FiscalMonthID
    UNION ALL
    --Current Open Period
    SELECT 'Current Open Period' AS PartitionName, MIN(DateID) AS MinDateKey, MAX(DateID) AS MaxDateKey
        FROM DIM_Date
        WHERE TheDate > (SELECT MAX(ClosedDate) FROM DIM_Closed_Period WHERE DataArchived = 1)
        AND TheDate <= (SELECT  MAX(ClosedDate) as MaxClosedDate FROM DIM_Closed_Period)
) D ON D.MaxDateKey >= P.TableStartDateKey

WHERE P.MeasureGroup IN ('Inv OH Orig', 'Inv OH','Sales','Sales Customer','Sales Transaction','Sales Cost')
ORDER BY D.PartitionName

-- -------------------------------------------------
-- Add measure groups that will not be partitioned
INSERT INTO #tmpPart(CubeName, MeasureGroup, [Partition], [SQL], MinDateKey, MaxDateKey)
SELECT P.CubeName, P.MeasureGroup, P.MeasureGroup AS Partition
, 'SELECT * FROM ' + P.FactTableName AS SQL
, 0 AS MinDateKey, 999999 AS MaxDateKey
FROM config.SSASPartitionsBase P
WHERE ISNULL(PartitionFieldName,'') = ''

-- Safety. If we miss any measure groups, add records as if they were not partitioned.
INSERT INTO #tmpPart(CubeName, MeasureGroup, [Partition], [SQL], MinDateKey, MaxDateKey)
SELECT CubeName, MeasureGroup, MeasureGroup AS [Partition], 'SELECT * FROM ' + FactTableName AS [SQL]
, 0 MinDateKey, 999999 MaxDateKey
FROM config.SSASPartitionsBase B
WHERE NOT EXISTS(SELECT * FROM #tmpPart T WHERE T.MeasureGroup = B.MeasureGroup)
-- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DELETE FROM config.SSASPartitions
FROM config.SSASPartitions P
JOIN config.SSASPartitionsBase B ON B.CubeName = P.CubeName AND B.MeasureGroup = P.MeasureGroup
WHERE
-- (B.LoadType1 = @Action OR B.LoadType2 = @Action OR B.LoadType3 = @Action) AND
NOT EXISTS(SELECT * FROM #tmpPart T WHERE T.CubeName = P.CubeName AND T.MeasureGroup = P.MeasureGroup
AND T.Partition = P.Partition)

PRINT 'Deleted partitions that do not exists in new list. Record count: ' + CONVERT(varchar, @@ROWCOUNT)

INSERT INTO config.SSASPartitions(CubeName, MeasureGroup, [Partition], [SQL]
, MinDateKey, MaxDateKey, NeedsReProcessing)
SELECT CubeName, MeasureGroup, [Partition], [SQL]
, MinDateKey, MaxDateKey, 1 AS NeedsReProcessing
FROM #tmpPart T
WHERE NOT EXISTS(SELECT * FROM config.SSASPartitions P 
WHERE P.CubeName = T.CubeName AND P.MeasureGroup = T.MeasureGroup
AND P.Partition = T.Partition
)

PRINT 'Inserted partitions that do not exists. Record count: ' + CONVERT(varchar, @@ROWCOUNT)
END

GO
3. Create Two Variables in your package

image

4.Add tasks to Drop, Create and Process Partitions

This is the second and final container that uses the information created in the first steps to actually drop, create and process any partitions which are new or which need to be reprocessed.

image

4a) Get DB Partitions List

image

image

SELECT CubeName,MeasureGroup, Partition, SQL, NeedsReProcessing 
FROM config.SSASPartitions 
ORDER BY 1,2,3
4b) Drop Older Partitions and Current Open Partitions

image

' Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services Script Task
' Write scripts using Microsoft Visual Basic 2008.
' The ScriptMain is the entry point class of the script.

Imports System
Imports System.Data
Imports System.Math
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime
Imports System.Xml
Imports System.Data.OleDb
Imports Microsoft.AnalysisServices

<System.AddIn.AddIn("ScriptMain", Version:="1.0", Publisher:="", Description:="")> _
<System.CLSCompliantAttribute(False)> _
Partial Public Class ScriptMain
    Inherits Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Tasks.ScriptTask.VSTARTScriptObjectModelBase

    Enum ScriptResults
        Success = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Success
        Failure = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Failure
    End Enum
    

    ' The execution engine calls this method when the task executes.
    ' To access the object model, use the Dts property. Connections, variables, events,
    ' and logging features are available as members of the Dts property as shown in the following examples.
    '
    ' To reference a variable, call Dts.Variables("MyCaseSensitiveVariableName").Value
    ' To post a log entry, call Dts.Log("This is my log text", 999, Nothing)
    ' To fire an event, call Dts.Events.FireInformation(99, "test", "hit the help message", "", 0, True)
    '
    ' To use the connections collection use something like the following:
    ' ConnectionManager cm = Dts.Connections.Add("OLEDB")
    ' cm.ConnectionString = "Data Source=localhost;Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;Provider=SQLNCLI10;Integrated Security=SSPI;Auto Translate=False;"
    '
    ' Before returning from this method, set the value of Dts.TaskResult to indicate success or failure.
    ' 
    ' To open Help, press F1.

    Public Sub Main()
        '--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        'THIS PACKAGE WILL DROP ANY MISSING PARTITIONS AND ANY "CURRENT OPEN PERIOD" PARTITIONS
        '--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Dim ExecutionSuccessfull As Boolean = True ' If true, package executed without errors
        Dim PartListInDM(999, 2) As String ' expecting no more than a 1000 partitions.
        Dim DropPartCount As Integer = 0

        ' These objects capture execution results
        Dim oResults As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResultCollection
        Dim oResult As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResult
        Dim oMessage As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaMessage
        Dim dataBytes(0) As Byte

        ' These objects capture your partitions table
        Dim oOleDB As New OleDbDataAdapter
        Dim oTable As New DataTable
        Dim oRow As DataRow
        oOleDB.Fill(oTable, Dts.Variables("PartitionListInDW").Value)

        'Connect to SSAS database
        Dim oConnection As ConnectionManager
        oConnection = Dts.Connections("Cube")
        Dim sServer As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("ServerName").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim sDatabase As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("InitialCatalog").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim oServer As New Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Server
        oServer.Connect(sServer) ' connect to the server and start scanning down the object hierarchy
        Dim oDB As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Database = oServer.Databases.FindByName(sDatabase)

        If oDB Is Nothing Then
            Dts.Log("Did not find expected database: " & sDatabase, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom  package logging to see this
            ExecutionSuccessfull = False
            GoTo Done
        End If

        'Cube attributes
        Dim oCube As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Cube
        Dim oMeasureGroup As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.MeasureGroup
        Dim oPartition As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Partition
        Dim bNeedToDropPartition As Boolean

        Dim strCube As String           'Cube - Cube Name
        Dim strMeasureGroup As String   'Cube - Measure Group
        Dim strPartition As String      'Cube - Partition
        Dim strRowCube As String        'Table - Cube Name
        Dim strRowMeasureGroup As String 'Table - Measure Group
        Dim strRowPartition As String   'Table - Partition
        Dim bMatch As Boolean           'String match

        'Iterate through each partition in the cube
        For Each oCube In oDB.Cubes
            strCube = oCube.Name
            For Each oMeasureGroup In oCube.MeasureGroups
                strMeasureGroup = oMeasureGroup.Name
                For Each oPartition In oMeasureGroup.Partitions
                    strPartition = oPartition.Name
                    bNeedToDropPartition = True
                    'Sets bMatch to True or False.  If Partition name like '%Current Open Period' then bMatch = True
                    bMatch = strPartition Like "*Current Open Period*"
                    'Iterate through each partition in the table and check if it exists in the cube already. 
                    For Each oRow In oTable.Rows
                        strRowCube = oRow("CubeName").ToString
                        strRowMeasureGroup = oRow("MeasureGroup").ToString
                        strRowPartition = oRow("Partition").ToString

                        'If the partition exists then don't drop it, except "Current Open Period" partitions
                        If strRowCube = strCube And strRowMeasureGroup = strMeasureGroup _
                        And strRowPartition = strPartition And bMatch = "False" Then
                            bNeedToDropPartition = False
                            Dts.Log("PARTITION FOUND - don't drop" & strRowPartition & "  Partition : " & strPartition, 0, dataBytes)
                            Exit For
                        End If

                    Next


                    'If the Partition does need to be dropped, then add the Partition details to the PartListInDM string object
                    If bNeedToDropPartition Then
                        PartListInDM(DropPartCount, 0) = oCube.Name
                        PartListInDM(DropPartCount, 1) = oMeasureGroup.Name
                        PartListInDM(DropPartCount, 2) = oPartition.Name
                        DropPartCount = DropPartCount + 1
                        Dts.Log("Found partition that needs to be dropped: " & oPartition.Name, 0, dataBytes) ' You need to setup package logging to see this
                    End If
                Next
            Next
        Next

        'Write the XML based on the PartListInDM string object to drop the Partitions
        '-------------------
        'START CAPTURING XML
        '-------------------
        oServer.CaptureXml() = True
        Dim i As Integer = 0
        For i = 0 To DropPartCount - 1
            oCube = oDB.Cubes.FindByName(PartListInDM(i, 0))
            oMeasureGroup = oCube.MeasureGroups.FindByName(PartListInDM(i, 1))
            oPartition = oMeasureGroup.Partitions.FindByName(PartListInDM(i, 2))
            oPartition.Drop()
        Next i
        oServer.CaptureXml() = False
        '-------------------
        'STOP CAPTURING XML
        '-------------------

        'Execute the log that contains the XMLA commands and drop the Partitions
        oResults = oServer.ExecuteCaptureLog(True, False) 'Execute within transaction=True, Execute in parallel=False

        'Log errors and warnings
        For Each oResult In oResults
            For Each oMessage In oResult.Messages
                If oMessage.GetType.Name = "XmlaError" Then
                    'Errors
                    Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom  package logging to see this
                    ExecutionSuccessfull = False 'Fail the Scrip Task
                Else
                    'Warnings
                    Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom  package logging to see this
                    ExecutionSuccessfull = True  'Don't fail the Scrip Task
                End If
            Next oMessage
        Next oResult
        ' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Done:
        oServer.Disconnect()

        If ExecutionSuccessfull Then
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Success
        Else
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Failure
        End If


    End Sub

End Class
4c) Check if this is Full Reprocessing

This will check to see if the full cube will be reprocessed, or just some of the partitions.

image

 

image

SELECT CONVERT(bit, CASE WHEN PartCount = 0 THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) AS NeedsFullReprocessing
FROM (SELECT COUNT(*) AS PartCount FROM config.SSASPartitions WHERE NeedsReProcessing <> 1) B
4d) Process All Dims

This will always process all dimensions.

image

' Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services Script Task
' Write scripts using Microsoft Visual Basic 2008.
' The ScriptMain is the entry point class of the script.

Imports System
Imports System.Data
Imports System.Math
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime
Imports Microsoft.AnalysisServices


<System.AddIn.AddIn("ScriptMain", Version:="1.0", Publisher:="", Description:="")> _
<System.CLSCompliantAttribute(False)> _
Partial Public Class ScriptMain
    Inherits Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Tasks.ScriptTask.VSTARTScriptObjectModelBase

    Enum ScriptResults
        Success = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Success
        Failure = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Failure
    End Enum
    

    ' The execution engine calls this method when the task executes.
    ' To access the object model, use the Dts property. Connections, variables, events,
    ' and logging features are available as members of the Dts property as shown in the following examples.
    '
    ' To reference a variable, call Dts.Variables("MyCaseSensitiveVariableName").Value
    ' To post a log entry, call Dts.Log("This is my log text", 999, Nothing)
    ' To fire an event, call Dts.Events.FireInformation(99, "test", "hit the help message", "", 0, True)
    '
    ' To use the connections collection use something like the following:
    ' ConnectionManager cm = Dts.Connections.Add("OLEDB")
    ' cm.ConnectionString = "Data Source=localhost;Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;Provider=SQLNCLI10;Integrated Security=SSPI;Auto Translate=False;"
    '
    ' Before returning from this method, set the value of Dts.TaskResult to indicate success or failure.
    ' 
    ' To open Help, press F1.

    Public Sub Main()
        '
        Dim ExecutionSuccessfull As Boolean = True ' If true, package executed without errors
        Dim dataBytes(0) As Byte
        ' Dim sProcessType As String = "ProcessFull"

        Dim oConnection As ConnectionManager
        oConnection = Dts.Connections("Cube")
        Dim sServer As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("ServerName").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim sDatabaseID As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("InitialCatalog").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim oServer As New Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Server
        oServer.Connect(sServer) ' connect to the server and start scanning down the object hierarchy
        Dim oDB As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Database = oServer.Databases.FindByName(sDatabaseID)

        Dim oThisIsFullReprocessing As Variable = Dts.Variables("ThisIsFullReprocessing") ' From variable
        Dim ThisIsFullReprocessing As Boolean = CType(oThisIsFullReprocessing.Value, Boolean)

        Dim ProcessType As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.ProcessType

        If ThisIsFullReprocessing Then
            ProcessType = Microsoft.AnalysisServices.ProcessType.ProcessFull
            Dts.Log("Will be doing FULL dimension processing", 0, dataBytes) ' You need to setup proper package loging to see this!
        Else
            ProcessType = Microsoft.AnalysisServices.ProcessType.ProcessUpdate
            Dts.Log("Will be doing UPDATE dimension processing", 0, dataBytes) ' You need to setup proper package loging to see this!
        End If

        If oDB Is Nothing Then
            ExecutionSuccessfull = False
            GoTo Done
        Else
            Dim oDim As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Dimension

            oServer.CaptureXml() = True ' Start capturing XML. 
            For Each oDim In oDB.Dimensions
                ' This will generate XMLA, but because CaptureXML is True, will not execute it!
                If (oDim.MiningModel Is Nothing) Then
                    oDim.Process(ProcessType)
                End If

            Next
            oServer.CaptureXml() = False ' Stop capturing XML
            ' Execute captured XML. First parameter Transactional, second parameter Parallel, third optional parameter: processAffected 
            ' These are very important parameters!

            Dim oResults As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResultCollection
            Dim oResult As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResult

            oResults = oServer.ExecuteCaptureLog(True, True)
            'oResults = oServer.ExecuteCaptureLog(False, False)

            Dim oMessage As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaMessage

            Dim bt(0) As Byte
            'Log the errors and warnings
            For Each oResult In oResults
                For Each oMessage In oResult.Messages
                    If oMessage.GetType.Name = "XmlaError" Then
                        Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, bt)

                        'The processing failed
                        ExecutionSuccessfull = False
                    Else
                        'It's just a warning. 
                        Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, bt)
                        ExecutionSuccessfull = True ' if you want to fail on warning, change this to False
                    End If
                Next oMessage
            Next oResult

        End If
Done:
        oServer.Disconnect() ' disconnect from the server -- we are done

        If ExecutionSuccessfull Then
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Success
        Else
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Failure
        End If

        '
    End Sub

End Class

4e) Get DB Partitions List
 

image

image

SELECT CubeName,MeasureGroup, Partition, SQL, NeedsReProcessing 
FROM config.SSASPartitions 
ORDER BY 1,2,3
4f) Create Partitions that don’t exist in the cube

image

' Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services Script Task
' Write scripts using Microsoft Visual Basic 2008.
' The ScriptMain is the entry point class of the script.

Imports System
Imports System.Data
Imports System.Math
Imports System.Xml
Imports System.Data.OleDb
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime
Imports Microsoft.AnalysisServices


<System.AddIn.AddIn("ScriptMain", Version:="1.0", Publisher:="", Description:="")> _
<System.CLSCompliantAttribute(False)> _
Partial Public Class ScriptMain
    Inherits Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Tasks.ScriptTask.VSTARTScriptObjectModelBase

    Enum ScriptResults
        Success = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Success
        Failure = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Failure
    End Enum
    

    ' The execution engine calls this method when the task executes.
    ' To access the object model, use the Dts property. Connections, variables, events,
    ' and logging features are available as members of the Dts property as shown in the following examples.
    '
    ' To reference a variable, call Dts.Variables("MyCaseSensitiveVariableName").Value
    ' To post a log entry, call Dts.Log("This is my log text", 999, Nothing)
    ' To fire an event, call Dts.Events.FireInformation(99, "test", "hit the help message", "", 0, True)
    '
    ' To use the connections collection use something like the following:
    ' ConnectionManager cm = Dts.Connections.Add("OLEDB")
    ' cm.ConnectionString = "Data Source=localhost;Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;Provider=SQLNCLI10;Integrated Security=SSPI;Auto Translate=False;"
    '
    ' Before returning from this method, set the value of Dts.TaskResult to indicate success or failure.
    ' 
    ' To open Help, press F1.

    Public Sub Main()
        '------------------------------------------------------------------------
        'THIS SCRIPT TASK WILL CREATE ANY PARTITIONS IN THE LIST THAT DON'T EXIST
        '------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Dim ExecutionSuccessfull As Boolean = True ' If true, package executed without errors

        ' These objects capture execution results
        Dim oResults As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResultCollection
        Dim oResult As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResult
        Dim oMessage As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaMessage
        Dim dataBytes(0) As Byte

        ' These objects capture partitions table columns
        Dim oOleDB As New OleDbDataAdapter
        Dim oTable As New DataTable
        Dim oRow As DataRow
        oOleDB.Fill(oTable, Dts.Variables("PartitionListInDW").Value)

        'Connect to SSAS Database
        Dim oConnection As ConnectionManager
        oConnection = Dts.Connections("Cube")
        Dim sServer As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("ServerName").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim sDatabase As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("InitialCatalog").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim oServer As New Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Server
        oServer.Connect(sServer) ' connect to the server and start scanning down the object hierarchy
        Dim oDB As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Database = oServer.Databases.FindByName(sDatabase)

        If oDB Is Nothing Then
            Dts.Log("Did not find expected database: " & sDatabase, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
            ExecutionSuccessfull = False
            GoTo Done
        End If

        'Cube attributes
        Dim oCube As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Cube
        Dim oMeasureGroup As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.MeasureGroup
        Dim oPartition As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Partition
        Dim strRowCube As String
        Dim strRowMeasureGroup As String
        Dim strRowPartition As String

        '-------------------
        'START CAPTURING XML
        '-------------------
        oServer.CaptureXml() = True

        For Each oRow In oTable.Rows
            strRowCube = oRow("CubeName").ToString
            oCube = oDB.Cubes.FindByName(strRowCube)

            If oCube Is Nothing Then
                Dts.Log("Did not find cube: " & strRowCube, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                Continue For
            End If

            strRowMeasureGroup = oRow("MeasureGroup").ToString
            oMeasureGroup = oCube.MeasureGroups.FindByName(strRowMeasureGroup)

            If oMeasureGroup Is Nothing Then
                Dts.Log("Did not find measure group: " & strRowMeasureGroup, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                Continue For
            End If

            strRowPartition = oRow("Partition").ToString
            oPartition = oMeasureGroup.Partitions.FindByName(strRowPartition)

            'If the Partition doesn't exist in the cube, then capture create it
            If (oPartition Is Nothing) Then
                Dts.Log("Need to create partition: " & strRowPartition, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                oPartition = oMeasureGroup.Partitions.Add(strRowPartition)
                oPartition.StorageMode = StorageMode.Molap
                oPartition.Source = New QueryBinding(oDB.DataSources(0).ID, oRow("SQL").ToString)

                If oMeasureGroup.AggregationDesigns.Count > 0 Then ' 
                    oPartition.AggregationDesignID = oMeasureGroup.AggregationDesigns(0).ID ' Take first available aggregation design
                End If

                'Capture XML to add the Partition
                oPartition.Update(UpdateOptions.ExpandFull)
                Dts.Log("Partition created: " & strRowPartition, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
            End If
        Next

        oServer.CaptureXml() = False
        '-------------------
        'STOP CAPTURING XML
        '-------------------


        'Execute the log that contains the XMLA commands and drop the Partitions
        oResults = oServer.ExecuteCaptureLog(True, False) 'Execute within transaction=True, Execute in parallel=False

        'Log the errors and warnings
        For Each oResult In oResults
            For Each oMessage In oResult.Messages
                If oMessage.GetType.Name = "XmlaError" Then
                    'Errors
                    Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                    ExecutionSuccessfull = False 'Fail the Script Task
                Else
                    'Warnings
                    Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                    ExecutionSuccessfull = True 'Don't fail the Script Task
                End If
            Next oMessage
        Next oResult
        ' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Done:
        oServer.Disconnect()

        If ExecutionSuccessfull Then
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Success
        Else
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Failure
        End If


    End Sub

End Class
4g) Get DB Partitions List

image

image

SELECT CubeName,MeasureGroup, Partition, SQL, NeedsReProcessing 
FROM config.SSASPartitions 
ORDER BY 1,2,3
4h) Process Newly Created Partitions

image

' Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services Script Task
' Write scripts using Microsoft Visual Basic 2008.
' The ScriptMain is the entry point class of the script.

Imports System
Imports System.Data
Imports System.Math
Imports System.Xml
Imports System.Data.OleDb
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime
Imports Microsoft.AnalysisServices


<System.AddIn.AddIn("ScriptMain", Version:="1.0", Publisher:="", Description:="")> _
<System.CLSCompliantAttribute(False)> _
Partial Public Class ScriptMain
    Inherits Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Tasks.ScriptTask.VSTARTScriptObjectModelBase

    Enum ScriptResults
        Success = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Success
        Failure = Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.DTSExecResult.Failure
    End Enum
    

    ' The execution engine calls this method when the task executes.
    ' To access the object model, use the Dts property. Connections, variables, events,
    ' and logging features are available as members of the Dts property as shown in the following examples.
    '
    ' To reference a variable, call Dts.Variables("MyCaseSensitiveVariableName").Value
    ' To post a log entry, call Dts.Log("This is my log text", 999, Nothing)
    ' To fire an event, call Dts.Events.FireInformation(99, "test", "hit the help message", "", 0, True)
    '
    ' To use the connections collection use something like the following:
    ' ConnectionManager cm = Dts.Connections.Add("OLEDB")
    ' cm.ConnectionString = "Data Source=localhost;Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;Provider=SQLNCLI10;Integrated Security=SSPI;Auto Translate=False;"
    '
    ' Before returning from this method, set the value of Dts.TaskResult to indicate success or failure.
    ' 
    ' To open Help, press F1.

    Public Sub Main()
        '
        '------------------------------------------------------------------------
        'THIS SCRIPT TASK WILL PROCESS ANY NEWLY CREATED PARTITIONS IN THE LIST 
        '------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Dim ExecutionSuccessfull As Boolean = True ' If true, package executed without errors

        ' These objects capture execution results
        Dim oResults As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResultCollection
        Dim oResult As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaResult
        Dim dataBytes(0) As Byte
        Dim oMessage As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.XmlaMessage

        ' These objects capture partitions table columns
        Dim oOleDB As New OleDbDataAdapter
        Dim oTable As New DataTable
        Dim oRow As DataRow
        oOleDB.Fill(oTable, Dts.Variables("PartitionListInDW").Value)

        'Connect to SSAS Database
        Dim oConnection As ConnectionManager
        oConnection = Dts.Connections("Cube")
        Dim sServer As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("ServerName").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim sDatabase As String = CStr(oConnection.Properties("InitialCatalog").GetValue(oConnection))
        Dim oServer As New Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Server
        oServer.Connect(sServer) ' connect to the server and start scanning down the object hierarchy
        Dim oDB As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Database = oServer.Databases.FindByName(sDatabase)

        If oDB Is Nothing Then
            Dts.Log("Did not find expected database: " & sDatabase, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
            ExecutionSuccessfull = False
            GoTo Done
        End If

        'Cube attributes
        Dim oCube As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Cube
        Dim oMeasureGroup As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.MeasureGroup
        Dim oPartition As Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Partition


        '-------------------
        'START CAPTURING XML
        '-------------------
        oServer.CaptureXml() = True
        'For each row in the table

        For Each oRow In oTable.Rows
            If LCase(oRow("NeedsReProcessing").ToString) = LCase("False") Then
                Continue For
            End If

            'Find the cube
            oCube = oDB.Cubes.FindByName(oRow("CubeName").ToString)
            If oCube Is Nothing Then
                Dts.Log("Did not find cube: " & oRow("CubeName").ToString, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                Continue For
            End If

            'Find the MeasureGroup in the cube
            oMeasureGroup = oCube.MeasureGroups.FindByName(oRow("MeasureGroup").ToString)
            If oMeasureGroup Is Nothing Then
                Dts.Log("Did not find measure group: " & oRow("MeasureGroup").ToString, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                Continue For
            End If

            'Find the Partition in the Measure Group
            oPartition = oMeasureGroup.Partitions.FindByName(oRow("Partition").ToString)
            If (oPartition Is Nothing) Then
                Dts.Log("Partition does not exists: " & oRow("Partition").ToString, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                Continue For
            End If

            'Capture XML to Process the Partition
            oPartition.Process(Microsoft.AnalysisServices.ProcessType.ProcessFull)
        Next

        ' If the Measure Group is linked, then process the entire Measure Group
        For Each oCube In oDB.Cubes
            For Each oMeasureGroup In oCube.MeasureGroups
                If oMeasureGroup.IsLinked Then
                    oMeasureGroup.Process(Microsoft.AnalysisServices.ProcessType.ProcessDefault)
                End If
            Next
        Next

        oServer.CaptureXml() = False
        '-------------------
        'STOP CAPTURING XML
        '-------------------

        'Execute the log that contains the XMLA commands and drop the Partitions
        oResults = oServer.ExecuteCaptureLog(True, True) 'Execute within transaction=True, Execute in parallel=True

        'Log the errors and warnings
        For Each oResult In oResults
            For Each oMessage In oResult.Messages
                If oMessage.GetType.Name = "XmlaError" Then
                    'Errors
                    Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                    ExecutionSuccessfull = False 'Fail the Script Task
                Else
                    'Warnings
                    Dts.Log(oMessage.Description, 0, dataBytes) 'You need to setup custom package logging to see this
                    ExecutionSuccessfull = True 'Do not fail the Script Task
                End If
            Next oMessage
        Next oResult
        ' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Done:
        oServer.Disconnect()

        If ExecutionSuccessfull Then
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Success
        Else
            Dts.TaskResult = ScriptResults.Failure
        End If


    End Sub

End Class
4i) Update Process Status

Indicate that all the partitions have been processed.

UPDATE config.SSASPartitions 
SET NeedsReProcessing = 0
,LastProcessDate = GETDATE()
WHERE NeedsReProcessing = 1

Thanks again to Vidas Matelis.  His scripts, here, were invaluable.

Feb 162012
 

Many companies use 4-4-5 calendar which ends up with an extra week approximately every 5 years.  This makes comparing periods challenging when you encounter the 53 week year.  This is especially challenging when reports are driven from an SSAS cube data source, and you want to build in the logic to automatically compare the correct This Year period with the corresponding Last Year period as per the companies business rules.  There is a way to do this.  It isn’t pretty, but it works.  The reporting will automatically choose the correct matching period in the context of a 52 or 53 week year.

There are some possibilities.  A company may want to compare the year after a 53 week year by shifting each week of the 53 week year by 1 week.  For example, if 2012 is the 53 week year then we want to compare:

image

Another possibility is that the company may want to compare the 53 week year by shifting the previous year weeks, or in some other way identify whether a week belongs to a 52 or a 53 week year for purposes of comparing periods.  This requires a bit more under the hood, but also doable. 

image

COMPARE THE YEAR AFTER A 53 WEEK YEAR WITH THE CORRESPONDING SHIFTED WEEKS FOR LAST YEAR

This is relatively easy.  Basically you make all your Last Year (LY) calculations and LY Period To Date calculations by counting back 52 weeks from the current week.  The week in your hierarchy must always be selected in your query.  I use Fiscal Week ID as the level to which I map all previous period calculations, so the Fiscal Week ID must be selected in all queries using these calculations.

This calculation will return the [Sls Dollars LY TW] (last year this week)

(PARALLELPERIOD
    ( [TIME].[Week Period To Date].[Fiscal Week ID], 52, [TIME].[Week Period To Date].CURRENTMEMBER  )
,[Measures].[Sales Dollars])

image

Notice how 2013 Wk 1 shows 2012 Wk 2 for the Sls Dollars LY TW.  And 2012 Wk 2 shows 2011 Wk 2 as desired.

For Periods To Date you can do this the same way.  You would like the LY QTD for 2013 Wk1 to show the QTD up to 2012 Wk 2.

This query returns [Sls Dollars LY QTD].

Aggregate
(
  PeriodsToDate
  (
            [TIME].[Week Period To Date].[Fiscal Quarter],

             PARALLELPERIOD
            ( [TIME].[Week Period To Date].[Fiscal Week ID],52,
                [TIME].[Week Period To Date].CURRENTMEMBER
            )
  ),
[Measures].[Sales Dollars]
)

Here are the results.  Again, you must have the Fiscal Week Id from the hierarchy selected in your query for this to work.

image

Notice how 2013 Wk 1 shows 2012 Wk 2 QTD for the Sls Dollars LY QTD. And 2012 Wk 2 shows 2011 Wk 2 QTD as desired.

IDENTIFY WHETHER A WEEK FALLS IN A 52 OR A 53 WEEK YEAR FOR USE IN CALCULATIONS

Here is an example of how to identify whether a week falls in a 52 or 53 week year, in order to be able to use in your calculations.  It isn’t pretty, but it does the job.

1.  Add a column to your DIM_Date table to identify whether a year has 52 or 53 weeks. 

image

2. Add a named calculation to the DIM_Date table in your cube Data Source View. 

image

The calculation is FiscalWeeksCount*10000+FiscalYearID. This will give you an integer which begins with either 52 or 53 and ends with the Year.  For example 522011 or 532012.

image

3. Add this calculated field to your Time dimension. Add it as a level of your Time Hierarchy, directly after Fiscal Year.  You may prefer to create a new hierarchy specifically for reporting needs so as not to confuse users. 

image

The reason the Year is appended to the Fiscal Weeks Count, rather than having the Fiscal Year roll directly up to Fiscal Weeks Count is that that would disturb the order of the children. 53 would come after 52 in the hierarchy, and therefor 2012 would come after 2013. The MDX calculations use relative position in the hierarchy to find a previous period, so the weeks must remain in the correct order in the hierarchy in order for this to work.

4. Save the change and rebuild the cube. Now you can reference this level in the hierarchy in order to identify how many weeks in the fiscal year.  You can use it in a case statement, like this:

CASE
WHEN [TIME].[Fiscal Weeks Count Year].CURRENTMEMBER.MEMBERVALUE > 530000 THEN
(PARALLELPERIOD ( [TIME].[Week Period To Date].[Fiscal Week ID], 53, [TIME].[Week Period To Date].CURRENTMEMBER ), [Measures].[Sales Dollars] )
ELSE
(PARALLELPERIOD ( [TIME].[Week Period To Date].[Fiscal Week ID], 52, [TIME].[Week Period To Date].CURRENTMEMBER ), [Measures].[Sales Dollars])
END

This determines if the current selected week falls in a 52 or a 53 week year, and calculated the corresponding previous period accordingly.  You could use ANCESTOR if you want to find out if the previous year was a 52 or a 53 week year.  You now know where your selected week is relative to a 53 week year and can use this information as needed.

May 162011
 

Did you ever wish you could skip the many-to-many relationship hassle and just convert the text attribute to a measure? Well, if the attribute is a single letter, the answer is you can.

A client wanted a Grade captured for a cross between two dimensions, Product and Location.  They have a Grade for each combination of Store plus Department, where Department is an attribute of the Product dimension.  I started out by adding a dimension to the cube called Store Dept, and then a hidden measure group that only had the count in it, so that I could create the many-to-many relationship in the Dimension Usage tab.  This worked, but performance was very slow in retrieving the letter grade from the Store Dept dimension for the combination of Store Dept.  

I wondered how I could make this text attribute into a measure, since that’s really what is was.  SSAS will not allow text as a measure.  My first thought was to make A = 1, B= 2, etc feed it into the cube as a measure and then decode it on the report side.  But this is clunky since I’d have to decode every possibility  of 26 letters both on the way in and on the way out.  There has to be a much cleaner way to do this – and there is!

Convert the Letter Grade into it’s ASCII character value

1. Create the table as a FACT table containing the Location Code, Department Code, Store Dept Grade, and convert the letter grade into it’s ASCII integer value.

SELECT
Location_Code,
Department_Code,
Store_Dept_Grade,
ASCII(Store_Dept_Grade) as Store_Dept_Grade_ASCII  FROM tablename


image

2. Add the table to your cube data source view, connecting Location Code and Department Code to the appropriate tables.

image

3. Add a new Measure Group based on the FACT_Store_Dept_Grade table, and add the measure “Store Dept Grade ASCII”.  I like to keep ‘ASCII’ in the description so report builders will remember to convert it to a letter.  Set the AggregationFunction in the measure Properties window to “Min”. 

image

4.  Rerun the cube and go to the browser tab.  When you select Location Code and Department Code you will get the correct ASCII value of the Store Dept Grade.

5. Build your report query including the Store Dept Grade ASCII measure.  In your report right click on the textbox in which you would like to place the Store Dept Grade.  Enter the following Expression. The IsNothing bit will keep you from getting ‘NaN’ if it is null.

=Iif(ISNOTHING(Fields!Store_Dept_Grade_ASCII.Value)=TRUE,"",Chr(Fields!Store_Dept_Grade_ASCII.Value))

6.  Review your report.  The ASCII value of the Grade has been converted back to the correct letter.

image

This is a very clean workaround to making a text value into a measure for use in reports. No funky hard-coding on the front end or the back end.  Just interpret the letter as an integer into the cube and then interpret it as a letter on the report side.  You could even add a time dimension, if this is useful in your scenario.  You could aggregate as Last Child.  This wasn’t needed in this particular scenario, but this is a good starting point for other similar situations.

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