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As you know, we here at the PMF development team are always on the lookout for ways to improve the end user experience. Recently we were reviewing the Dimension Loader form and we have a change in mind, but before doing this we would like your feedback. So if you folks out there could take a few minutes and give us your opinion, it would be a big help.
If you look at the Dimension Loader form, in the upper left hand corner there is a drop down box labeled "Table Type" - and there are three options:
"Separate Table" "From measures" "Custom coding"
We would like to remove this option box entirely from the form, since it is our belief and understanding that everyone should be using the "Separate table" option and avoid using the other two options.
So what are these other two options? Taking these in reverse order, the 'Custom coding' option is very obscure, highly technical, and it is not even documented. To the best of our knowledge no one is using this. Next, the 'From Measures' option means that ALL of your source data for both Dimensions AND Measures must be in one and only one Master File. This option is very limiting and we discourage everyone from doing this. Instead, we recommend that you split up your Dimensions and Measures data into separate source files and let WebFOCUS issue the joins - that's the 'Separate table' option
The obvious next question is why do we even have these other two options? The reason was to support some very early demo versions of the product. This goes back to PMF release 2.1 in 2005.
So our question to everyone is simply - "Is it OK if we eliminate this drop down box?" Is anyone out there using the 'From Measures' option and if so could you tell us why and how hard would it be for you to switch over to 'Separate tables'.
I am in complete agreement with requiring a separate table as the only way to load a dimension. If you move forward with this, will it also facilitate that when a measure is loaded it would use the PMF dimension table rather than the source table? Also, has there been any thought to allowing selection when loading a dimension?
Posts: 68 | Location: United States | Registered: March 28, 2007
Thanks for your input. Regarding your two questions:
As far as the Measure Loader goes, our philosophy has always been that the source data rules; if there are discrepancies between PMF dimension data and source dimension data, then the source is correct. So there are no current plans to join to PMF dimension tables during the Measure Loader.
Regarding filtering/selection during the Dimension Load, we have no current plans to do this as there has not been enough of a demand. If you need selection on the Dimension Loade, you can do is put in a WebFOCUS filter in the "Prefix Code" section.
OK, since the consensus from offline and online conversations seems to be nobody is using "From Measures," the next GA version of PMF, 5.2, due out in August, will have this disabled.
If any of Dimensions are set for "From Measures" the option will be blanked, although the measure data won't be changed; but to load your measures again you'll need to specify the separate table they come from. This is the way every customer we've talked to uses PMF. The "From Measures" option was actually supposed to be used only for quick demos.
Bob Jude Ferrante Director of Business and Development WebFOCUS Performance Management Bob_Ferrante@ibi.com 917-339-5105
I'll take any questions about PMF - business or technical - anytime!