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ProjectDesign 8

ProjectDesign 8

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Published by: Srikanth Sri on Aug 16, 2011
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12/26/2012

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The Disallow partially or completely the fact entry level
setting within the Fact Editor is like a lock which prevents a
fact from being reported at a specific level. The setting
prevents unnecessary joins to lookup tables. The following
examples describe instances in which disallowing a fact entry
level can prove useful.

Disallowing a fact to be extended to a level lower than the
fact’s entry level due to unnecessary complexity and the cost
of analyzing fact data at such a level is a common use for this
feature. If a fact is stored at a level that is counterproductive
to a query, such as data that is stored at the Minute or Second
level, you can disallow the lower levels. For example, if you
have three years’ worth of data, querying at the Minute or
Second level consumes too many resources and returns
extensive data. With a disallow in place, if you create a report
and attempt to include the fact at the Minute or Second level,
an error is returned, indicating that the report cannot be run
at that level.

Consider a schema containing three dimensions: Geography,
Time, and Product. Suppose you create a fact called Sales at
the Item level in the Product dimension and a metric called
Sales as the sum of the Sales fact. When you create a report
containing the Month attribute and the Sales metric, the
Analytical Engine does a dynamic cross-join and evaluates
the report. To explicitly disallow an extension of the Sales fact
to the Time dimension, you would use the Disallow partially
or completely the fact entry level
setting and select the
lowest attribute in the Time dimension such as Day. This
option is set in the step immediately after To lower, extend,
or disallow the fact entry level, page111
of the procedure to
create a fact extension above. After updating the schema and
re-executing the report, the report fails because the disallow
setting now prevents the cross-joins between the lookup
tables and fact tables. This setting, however, does not affect
normal joins.

Project Design Guide

The Building Blocks of Business Data: Facts 5

© 2007 MicroStrategy, Inc.

Modifying the levels at which facts are reported: Level extensions 123

In the previous example, for the Sales fact, assume you
specify an extension to the Month attribute and also
disallow extension to Year which is a parent of the
extended attribute, Month. If you execute the report
containing the Year attribute and Sales metric, the
report runs successfully. In this case, the engine sorts
the extension conditions specified in some order and
calculates the report based on the sorted order of
extensions. This is not an expected design condition,
although the engine returns a valid SQL. It is advisable
to avoid fact definitions that contain contradictory
extension definitions.

The Disallow the fact entry level setting applies only to
attributes that can be considered as extended attributes. For
example, you create a report that contains the attributes
Subcategory and Item and the Revenue metric, which is
defined as sum of the Revenue fact. You now disallow an
extension on the Revenue fact for the Item attribute and
update the schema. If you re-execute the report, you can still
see Revenue by Item. This implies that the fact extension has
not been disallowed. This is because Revenue exists at the
same level as Item in the MicroStrategy Tutorial project. So
you encounter only normal joins and no extensions. There
must be a valid reason to disallow reporting a fact at a certain
level. In this case, disallowing the Revenue fact at the level it
is stored at in the data warehouse does not make logical
sense.

The Building Blocks of Business Data: Facts

Project Design Guide

5

124 Modifying the levels at which facts are reported: Level extensions

© 2007 MicroStrategy, Inc.

© 2007 MicroStrategy, Inc.

125

6

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