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Creating and Expanding a Time Dimension

This post should really be titled “Creating a Time Dimension with a method which allows it to be easily expanded later.” but that simply wont fit. The concept is simple, where previously a time dimension is manually updated and eventually becomes tiresome to update (once every few years) we can instead use one process to create the dimension and for each year call another process which added the year it is given, its quarters and months along with aliases and attributes. This way, in 2 years time the dimension can be expanded simply by running the second process and providing the years to add as parameters.

The reason this sample dimension has no alternate hierarchies is because this example was taken from a system in-which the time dimension was to be consumed via Cognos Report Studio.

Process 1: Meta Time Part 1

  • Creates the Dimension
  • Adds the Name Alias
  • Sets the Sort Order (In the Attachment, not reflected in screenshots)
  • Calls the 2nd process for the years to be added by default

Process 2: Meta Time Part 2

  • Adds the Quarter Elements
  • Adds the Month Elements
  • Adds the Names on the Quarters
  • Adds the Names on the Months
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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