Monday, June 7, 2010

Alias Table Updates

Sometimes updating alias tables in EAS using the Export/Import Alias Table menu items can be tedious. Especially if there are a lot of members and the alias can be easily built (ex: with a concatenate function in Excel). If the table already exists you can set the changes up in Excel and use a load rule to update.

You can select what alias table your load rule is updating in the Dimension Build Settings window on the Global Settings tab. In the Update alias table section, select the alias table from the drop down list. If you want to update more than one alias table for each member, you will need a load rule for each alias table. Set your file up to contain each alias table in a column. Complete the load rule for one of the alias tables and then change the alias table to update and the field properties of the appropriate column, saving a load rule for each. Using Load Data, you can select your data file multiple times, applying the multiple rules for each alias tables.

I have found two uses that this is exceedingly more useful than the Export/Import functionality, where you have to update a text file editor. One is to populate a week ending date in my weekly cubes. I can select my first date and then add 7 to advance the date. Another use is to append the member name to the end of the alias. The result of this is twofold, one it prevents duplicate aliases and two it allows both the member name and alias to be visible when using Smart View.

There are still going to be times where Exporting and Importing an alias table is going to be more useful, but load rules are another viable option, which may save you time in the long run.