Say the attributes and dimensions in the enterprise data warehouse are renamed and your cubes are impacted. Apart from renaming the attribute & dimension themselves, when estimated the effort we also need to consider:
- Attribute relationships
After changing the attribute names, the attribute relationship will show a yellow circle with exclamation mark. You will need to delete and recreate them. No, editing them won’t work.
Many of the renamed attributes are used in hierarchies. The levels on these hierarchies should also be renamed, to match the attribute names. The hierarchy name itself should also be renamed.
- MDX Scripts/Calculations
This looks like a trivial “replace all”, but be careful when doing replace all. Sometimes it makes a few things stop working, for example:
a) Same dim name, attribute & level, i.e. [Branch].[Branch].[Branch]. You meant to replace the Dim Name only, but the “replace all” replaced all three.
b) That word is part of Hierarchy Name, i.e. [Electronic Product Hierarchy]. You meant to replace [Product] dim name to [Service] but the above Hierarchy Name in the calculation would also be replaced.
- Default Values
If an attribute has default value, it needs to be changed too. For example: dim = account, attribute = account type, current default value: [Account].[Account Type].[&Bond]. If Account dim is renamed to Product and Account Type attribute is renamed to Product Type, then the default value becomes: [Product].[Product Type].[&Bond].
- Dimension Usage
If you change a name of a dimension, the dimension name on the Dimension Usage tab should also be change. Dimension Usage is the tab that contains the relationship between dimensions and MGs.
Both on the Cube Translations (the dim names are here) and the Dimension Translation (the attribute names are here). For example, if Account Type is changed to Product Type, then you don’t want the French translation to stay as Type De Compte. You would want it changed to Type De Produit. And the Spanish: from Tipo De Cuenta to Tipo De Producto.
- Analytics Reports
Remember that the attribute names, dimension names, and measure names on all analytics reports Strategy Companion, Tableau, ProClarity, SSRS, Excel/Vivid would need to be changed too. This is why once a lot of reports are built, practically speaking it’s impossible to change the attribute/dimension name.
I would definitely discourage the “shortcut” practice of: “export to XMLA, search & replace all, deploy to AS server, recreate BIDS project from the server”. True that this is quick, but it won’t work, apart for the simplest cubes. But if it’s a very simple cube, then renaming it on BIDS is quick & simple too. So definitely do it in BIDS.
If you are changing measure names as well, things that are impacted are:
- Calculations / MDX Scripts
- Default Measure of the cube
Hope this helps your impact analysis/estimation. As usual I welcome discussion and questions at email@example.com