In This Section:
When you tag a dimension as a specific type, the dimension can access built-in functionality designed for that type. For example, if you define a dimension as accounts, you can specify accounting measures for members in that dimension. Essbase calculates the two primary dimension types, time and accounts, before other dimensions in the database. By default, all dimensions are tagged as none.
To set a dimension type, see “Setting the Dimension Type” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.
Tag a dimension as time if it contains members that describe how often you collect and update data. In the Sample.Basic database, for example, the Year dimension is tagged as time, as are its descendants—all Qtr members and the months (such as Jan). The time dimension also enables several accounts dimension functions, such as first and last time balances.
You can specify that members of the accounts dimension are calculated on the second pass through an outline. See Setting Two-Pass Calculations.
If an accounts dimension member uses the time balance property, it affects how Essbase calculates the parent of that member in the time dimension. By default, a parent in the time dimension is calculated based on the consolidation and formulas of its children. For example, in the Sample.Basic database, the Qtr1 member is the sum of its children (Jan, Feb, and Mar). However, setting a time balance property causes parents, for example Qtr1, to roll up differently.
To set time balance properties, see “Setting Time Balance Properties” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.
”None” is the default value. When you set the time balance property as none, Essbase rolls up parents in the time dimension in the usual way—the value of the parent is based on the formulas and consolidation properties of its children.
For example, assume that a member named OpeningInventory represents the inventory at the beginning of the time period. If the time period was Qtr1, OpeningInventory represents the inventory at the beginning of Jan; that is, the OpeningInventory for Qtr1 is the same as the OpeningInventory for Jan. For example, if you had 50 cases of Cola at the beginning of Jan, you also had 50 cases of Cola at the beginning of Qtr1.
OpeningInventory (TB First), Cola, East, Actual, Jan(+), 50 OpeningInventory (TB First), Cola, East, Actual, Feb(+), 60 OpeningInventory (TB First), Cola, East, Actual, Mar(+), 70 OpeningInventory (TB First), Cola, East, Actual, Qtr1(+), 50
For example, assume that a member named EndingInventory represents the inventory at the end of the time period. If the time period is Qtr1, EndingInventory represents the inventory at the end of Mar; that is, the EndingInventory for Qtr1 is the same as the EndingInventory for Mar. For example, if you had 70 cases of Cola at the end of Mar, you also had 70 cases of Cola at the end of Qtr1.
EndingInventory (TB Last), Cola, East, Actual, Jan(+), 50 EndingInventory (TB Last), Cola, East, Actual, Feb(+), 60 EndingInventory (TB Last), Cola, East, Actual, Mar(+), 70 EndingInventory (TB Last), Cola, East, Actual, Qtr1(+), 70
For example, assume that a member named AverageInventory represents the average of the inventory for the time period. If the time period was Qtr1, then AverageInventory represents the average of the inventory during Jan, Feb, and Mar.
AverageInventory (TB Average), Cola, East, Actual, Jan(+), 60 AverageInventory (TB Average), Cola, East, Actual, Feb(+), 62 AverageInventory (TB Average), Cola, East, Actual, Mar(+), 67 AverageInventory (TB Average), Cola, East, Actual, Qtr1(+), 63
Table 15 describes how each setting determines what Essbase does when it encounters a missing or zero value.
Table 15. Skip Properties
If you mark a member as last with a skip property of missing or missing and zeros, the parent of that time period matches the last nonmissing child. In the following example, EndingInventory is based on the value for Feb, because Mar does not have a value.
Cola, East, Actual, Jan, EndingInventory (Last), 60 Cola, East, Actual, Feb, EndingInventory (Last), 70 Cola, East, Actual, Mar, EndingInventory (Last), #MI Cola, East, Actual, Qtr1, EndingInventory (Last), 70
Variance reporting properties determine how Essbase calculates the difference between actual and budget data in a member with the @VAR or @VARPER function in its member formula. Any member that represents an expense to the company requires an expense property.
When you are budgeting expenses for a time period, the actual expenses should be less than the budget. When actual expenses are greater than budget expenses, the variance is negative. The @VAR function calculates Budget – Actual. For example, if budgeted expenses are $100, and you spend $110, the variance is -10.
When you are budgeting nonexpense items, such as sales, the actual sales should be more than the budget. When actual sales are less than budget, the variance is negative. The @VAR function calculates Actual – Budget. For example, if budgeted sales were $100, and you made $110 in sales, the variance is 10.
Currency conversion properties define categories of currency exchange rates. These properties are used only in currency databases on members of accounts dimensions. See Designing and Building Currency Conversion Applications.
Use country dimensions to track business activities in multiple countries. If you track business activity in the U.S. and Canada, for example, the country dimension should contain states, provinces, and countries. If a dimension is tagged as country, you can set the currency name property. The currency name property defines what type of currency this market region uses.
In a country dimension, you can specify the currency used in each member. For example, in the Interntl application and database shipped with Essbase, Canada has three markets—Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal—which use Canadian dollars.
This dimension type is used for currency conversion applications. See Designing and Building Currency Conversion Applications.
Use currency partition members to separate local currency members from a base currency defined in the application. If the base currency for analysis is U.S. dollars, for example, the local currency members would contain values based on the currency type of the region, such as Canadian dollars.
This dimension type is used for currency conversion applications. See Designing and Building Currency Conversion Applications.
Use attribute dimensions to report and aggregate data based on characteristics of standard dimensions. In the Sample.Basic database, for example, the Product dimension is associated with the Ounces attribute dimension. Members of the Ounces attribute dimension categorize products based on their size in ounces.
Review the rules for using attribute dimensions in Working with Attributes.
Member consolidation properties, which are listed in Table 16, Consolidation Operators, determine how children roll up into their parents. By default, new members are given the addition (+) operator, meaning that members are added. For example, Jan, Feb, and Mar figures are added and the result stored in their parent, Qtr1.
Essbase does not use consolidation properties with members of attribute dimensions. See Calculating Attribute Data.
Parent1 Member1 (+) 10 Member2 (+) 20 Member3 (-) 25 Member4 (*) 40 Member5 (%) 50 Member6 (/) 60 Member7 (~) 70
(((Member1 + Member2) + (-1)Member3) * Member4) = X (((10 + 20) + (-25)) * 40) = 200
(X/Member5) * 100 = Y (200/50) * 100 = 400
Y/Member6 = Z 400/60 = 66.67
You can determine how and when Essbase stores the data values for a member. For example, you can tell Essbase to calculate the value for a member only when a user requests it, and then discard the data value. Table 17 describes each storage property.
Table 17. Choosing Storage Properties
When a member is Dynamic Calc, Essbase does not calculate the value for that member until a user requests it. After the user views it, Essbase does not store the value for that member. If you tag a member as Dynamic Calc and Store, Essbase performs the same operation as for a Dynamic Calc member but then stores the data value. See Dynamically Calculating Data Values.
Label only members have no associated data. Use them to group members or to ease navigation and reporting from Spreadsheet Add-in. Typically, you should give label only members the “no consolidation” property. See Setting Member Consolidation.
You cannot associate attributes with label only members. If you tag a base dimension member that has attribute associations as label only, Essbase removes the attribute associations and displays a warning message.
A descendent of a label only member cannot be tagged as Dynamic Calc. In the following example, when verifying the outline, Essbase issues an error message indicating that ChildB cannot be tagged as label only:
ParentA = Label Only ChildB = Label Only DescendantC = Dynamic Calc
Tagging DescendantC as Store Data or Dynamic Calc and Store resolves the issue.
The data values associated with a shared member come from another member with the same name. The shared member stores a pointer to data contained in the other member, and the data is stored only once. To define a member as shared, an actual nonshared member of the same name must exist. For example, in the Sample.Basic database, the 100-20 member under 100 stores the data for that member. The 100-20 member under Diet points to that value.
Using shared members lets you use members repeatedly throughout a dimension. Essbase stores the data value only once, but it displays in multiple locations. Storing the data value only once saves space and improves processing efficiency.
Members with the same name may be duplicate members instead of shared members. See Creating and Working With Duplicate Member Outlines.
You can create a shared member for a member with a duplicate member name. Specify the duplicate member name for which you want to create the shared member. The qualified name of the duplicate member, on which the shared member is based, is displayed in the Member Properties dialog box. See “Defining Shared Members” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.
Avoid complex relationships between actual and shared members that will be part of an attribute calculation, or a calculation may return unexpected results. See Understanding Attribute Calculation and Shared Members.
You cannot create a shared member and the member on which it is based under the same parent. In a duplicate member outline, siblings must be unique.
If you create a test dimension with all shared members based on the members of the dimension East from the Sample.Basic outline, the outline would be similar to the one shown in Figure 39, Shared Members from a Single Dimension:
New York Massachusetts Florida Connecticut New Hampshire test
If you move test above its last two children, Essbase retrieves the first three children as shared members, but the last two as stored members. Similarly, if you insert a member in the middle of the list above which was not a sibling of the shared members (for example, California inserted between Florida and Connecticut), Essbase retrieves shared members only between the nonsibling and the parent (in this case, between California and test).
You can modify the Sample.Basic outline to create a shared member whose stored member counterpart is a sibling to its own parent, as shown in Figure 40, Retrieval with Crossed Generation Shared Members:
West New York Massachusetts Connecticut New Hampshire test
A parent has only one child. In this situation, the parent and the child contain the same data. Essbase ignores the consolidation property on the child and stores the data only once—thus the parent has an implied shared relationship with the child. In the following example, the parent 500 has only one child, 500-10, so the parent shares the value of that child:
500 (+) 500-10 (+)
A parent has only one child that consolidates to the parent. If the parent has four children, but three are marked as no consolidation, the parent and child that consolidates contain the same data. Essbase ignores the consolidation property on the child and stores the data only once—thus the parent has an implied shared relationship with the child. In the following example, the parent 500 has only one child, 500‑10, that rolls up to it. The other children are marked as No Consolidate(~), so the parent implicitly shares the value of 500‑10.
500 (+) 500-10 (+) 500-20 (~) 500-30 (~)
If you do not want a member to be shared implicitly, mark the parent as Never Share so that the data is duplicated instead. See Understanding Shared Members for an explanation of how shared members work.
The information about aliases and alias tables applies to block storage and aggregate storage databases.
An alias is an alternate name for a member or shared member. For example, members in the Product dimension in the Sample.Basic database are identified both by product codes, such as 100, and by more descriptive aliases, such as Cola. Aliases, stored in alias tables, can improve the readability of outlines or reports.
You can set multiple aliases for a member using alias tables. For example, you can use different aliases for different kinds of reports—users may be familiar with 100-10 as Cola, but advertisers and executives may be familiar with it as The Best Cola. This list shows products in the Sample.Basic database that have two descriptive alias names:
Product Default Long Names 100-10 Cola The Best Cola 100-20 Diet Cola Diet Cola with Honey 100-30 Caffeine Free Cola All the Cola, none of the Caffeine
Aliases are stored in one or more tables as part of a database outline. An alias table maps a specific, named set of alias names to member names. When you create a database outline, Essbase creates an empty alias table named Default. If you do not create any other alias tables, the aliases that you create are stored in the Default alias table.
You can create an alias table for each set of outline members. When you view the outline or retrieve data, you can use the alias table name to indicate which set of alias names you want to see. Identifying which alias table contains the names that you want to see while viewing an outline is called making an alias table the active alias table. See Setting an Alias Table as Active.
For Unicode-mode applications, setting up a separate alias table for each user language enables users to view member names in their own language. See Understanding the Essbase Unicode Implementation.
You can provide an alias for any member. Alias names must follow the same rules as member names. See Naming Restrictions for Dimensions, Members, and Aliases.
To use dimension build and a data source to add aliases to an alias table, see “Defining a Rules File for Adding Aliases” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.
To import alias values from an alias table source file created in a predefined format, see Importing and Exporting Alias Tables.
Optional. You can specify multiple language codes for an alias table. When you create an alias table, a language code is not specified. See Working with Alias Table Language Codes.
A new alias table is empty. To add aliases to an alias table and assign them to members, see Creating Aliases.
To assign language codes to an alias table, see Working with Alias Table Language Codes.
You can specify multiple language codes for an alias table. When you create an alias table, a language code is not specified. To assign language codes to an alias table, use the C-API or VB-API versions of the SetAliasTableLanguage API. (You cannot set a language code for the default alias table.)
To get the set of language codes associated with an alias table, use the C-API or VB-API versions of the GetAliasTableLanguages API.
To clear the language codes associated with an alias table, use the C-API or VB-API versions of the ClearAliasTableLanguages API.
When clearing aliases from an alias table, language codes are removed from the alias table.
When copying an alias table, language codes are removed from the copied alias table.
When renaming an alias table, language codes are preserved in the renamed alias table.
See the Oracle Essbase API Reference.
To copy an alias table, the table must be persisted in the database directory. To copy artifacts that are not persisted in the database directory, use the EXPORT ESSCMD command.
When you copy an alias table, language codes associated with that alias table are removed from the copied alias table. See Working with Alias Table Language Codes.
When you rename an alias table, language codes associated with that table are preserved in the renamed alias table. See Working with Alias Table Language Codes.
You can delete an alias table from the outline, or you can clear all the aliases from an alias table without deleting the alias table itself. To clear or delete alias tables, see “Deleting and Clearing Alias Tables” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.
When you clear the aliases from an alias table, language codes associated with that alias table are removed. See Working with Alias Table Language Codes.
The first line in the file starts with $ALT_NAME. Add one or two spaces followed by the name of the alias table. If the alias table name contains a blank character, enclose the name in single quotation marks.
Each line between the first and the last lines contains two values separated by one or more spaces or tabs. The first value must be the name of an existing outline member; the second value is the alias for the member.
$ALT_NAME 'Quarters' Qtr1 Quarter1 Jan January Feb February Mar March $END
By default, Essbase calculates outlines from the bottom up—first calculating the values for the children and then the values for the parent. Sometimes, however, the values of the children may be based on the values of the parent or the values of other members in the outline. To obtain the correct values for these members, Essbase must first calculate the outline and then recalculate the members that are dependent on the calculated values of other members. The members that are calculated on the second pass through the outline are called two-pass calculations.
For example, to calculate the ratio between Sales and Margin, Essbase needs first to calculate Margin, which is a parent member based on its children, including Sales. To ensure that the ratio is calculated based on a freshly calculated Margin figure, tag the Margin % ratio member as a two-pass calculation. Essbase calculates the database once and then calculates the ratio member again. This calculation produces the correct result.
You can apply formulas to standard dimensions and members. You cannot set formulas for attribute dimensions and their members. The formula determines how Essbase calculates the outline data. See Developing Formulas for Block Storage Databases.
You can create names for generations and levels in an outline, such as a word or phrase that describes the generation or level. For example, you might create a generation name called Cities for all cities in the outline. See Dimension and Member Relationships.
Use generation and level names in calculation scripts or report scripts wherever you need to specify either a list of member names or generation or level numbers. For example, you could limit a calculation in a calculation script to all members in a specific generation. See Developing Calculation Scripts for Block Storage Databases.
You can define only one name for each generation or level. When you name generations and levels, follow the same naming rules as for members. See Naming Restrictions for Dimensions, Members, and Aliases.
Calculation scripts. After you define a UDA, you can query a member for its UDA in a calculation script. For example, you can multiply all members with the UDA Debit by –1 so that they display as either positive or negative (depending on how the data is currently stored). See Developing Calculation Scripts for Block Storage Databases.
Data loading. You can change the sign of the data as it is loaded into the database based on its UDA. See Flipping Field Signs.
To perform a calculation, selectively retrieve data based on attribute values, or provide full crosstab, pivot, and drill-down support in the spreadsheet, create attribute dimensions instead of UDAs. See Comparing Attributes and UDAs.
On aggregate storage databases, using UDAs to define member groups greatly decreases the execution speeds of Essbase functions. To avoid this performance loss, use attribute dimensions to define member groups.
A UDA name can be the same as a member, alias, level, or generation name. Follow the same naming rules as for members. See Naming Restrictions for Dimensions, Members, and Aliases.
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