Friday, November 21, 2014

SSAS Warning: Define attribute relationships as 'Rigid' where appropriate

When you're first deploying a dimension with hierarchies in SSDT-BI, you might notice this warning (or more appropriately, this directive): Define attribute relationships as 'Rigid' where appropriate.

A quick interwebs search reveals the answer in dozens of different websites and you'll also probably run across the answer on Microsoft's website. The answer is -- and I quote:
This rule analyzes dimensions to determine whether they contain at least one user-defined hierarchy in which each member attribute uniquely implies the member attribute above it. If the dimension does have such a hierarchy, the rule checks to see whether all the attribute relationships in the dimension have the RelationshipType property set to Flexible.
Thanks, Microsoft documentation! You've given me the answer. Now all I have to do is find the RelationshipType property and we're good to go.

Now where is it? Is it here? Nope. There? Nope. Over yon? Nuh-uh.

Well! Did you just spend 20 minutes of your life searching for the answer and you still haven't found it? Well, it's not completely obvious. Remember, everything in every relationship diagram has properties, even lines and arrows!

  1. In your Multidimensional Analysis Services project in SSDT-BI (or SSDT or BIDS or whatever Microsoft has renamed it this week), open your dimension for editing.
  2. Click on Attribute Relationships
  3. Click on the line-arrow between any two attributes. 
  4. Take a look at the Properties window and you'll see RelationshipType. That's where you can change it to Rigid

Of course, you could read that statement all day and it still might take another twenty minutes to figure out what I'm talking about. In that case -- like me -- you're a visual learner. So in that case, there are two screenshots below to help you find it.

Click on the line-arrow!

Check the properties window. Hint: press the F4 key.
You're welcome, internet.

Update (same day): I just came up with two new helpful tips. Firstly, You can double-click the warning message in the error list and it will take you to the correct location in the project. Secondly, you can also double click on the line-arrow to bring up a dialog bog that will allow you to change the relationship type. See screenshots below.


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