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Creating Time Dimension in Microsoft Analysis Services

, 6 May 2008
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Unlike Date Dimension (with Year, Month, Date), Time Dimension (with Hour, Minutes, and Seconds) is not automatically created by SSAS (Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services). This article explains how to create and use Time Dimension in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services.

Introduction

Sometimes, you need to create a report on a time level (Hour, Minutes, and Seconds). For a relational report, you can use the DATEPART() function to extract time information out of a DateTime column. However, doing this is difficult for an OLAP report. This article explains how to create a Time Dimension table and use it inside SSAS.

Background

To understand this article, you need to understand the basics of dimensional modeling and Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services.

Using the code

The code (zip file) is composed of four scripts:

  1. DimTime.sqlCREATE TABLE statement creates the DimTime table.
  2. Populate DimTime.sql – Script populates the DimTime table with time info. Each record represents a second.
  3. Dim Time.dim – Optional SSAS 2005 dim file you can add to your SSAS database.
  4. Populate Fact.sql – Optional sample script shows how to link your fact table to the DimTime dimension.

The Populate DimTime.sql script looks like this:

delete from DimTime

declare @DimTimeKey int, @Date datetime, @AM char(2), 
    @hour24 tinyint, @hour tinyint, @minute tinyint, @second int
set @DimTimeKey = 0

while @DimTimeKey < (60*60*24)
begin
    set @DimTimeKey = @DimTimeKey + 1
    set @Date = DATEADD(second,@DimTimeKey,convert(datetime, '1/1/2007'))
    set @AM = right(convert(varchar,@Date,109),2)
    set @hour24 = DATEPART(hour, @Date)
    set @hour = case when @AM = 'PM' then @hour24 - 12 else @hour24 end
    set @minute = DATEPART(minute, @Date)
    set @second = DATEPART(second, @Date)

    insert into dbo.DimTime(DimTimeKey,Time,Time24,HourName, _
                MinuteName,MinuteKey,Hour,Hour24,Minute,Second,AM)
    select    @DimTimeKey, 
            Time = right('0' + convert(varchar,@hour),2) 
                + ':' + right('0' + convert(varchar,@minute),2)  
                + ':' + right('0' + convert(varchar,@second),2) + ' ' + @AM,
            Time24 = convert(varchar,@Date,108), 
            HourName = right('0' + convert(varchar,@hour),2) + ' ' + @AM,
            MinuteName = right('0' + convert(varchar,@hour),2) 
                + ':' + right('0' + convert(varchar,@minute),2)+ ' ' + @AM,
            MinuteKey = (@hour24*60) + @minute,
            @hour, @hour24, @minute, @second, @AM
end

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Igor Krupitsky
Web Developer
United States United States
Igor is a business intelligence consultant working in Tampa, Florida. He has a BS in Finance from University of South Carolina and Masters in Information Management System from University of South Florida. He also has following professional certifications: MCSD, MCDBA, MCAD.

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionHow do I use the .DIM file? PinmemberChris.Crowe12-Feb-13 14:38 
GeneralSSAS Date Dimension PinmemberSam Kane22-Mar-11 6:06 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberHoussem.Eddine13-Mar-11 0:28 
GeneralAdditional info PinmemberKen Ferrell26-Jan-11 6:43 
Generalthanks Pinmemberbplummer20-Nov-10 5:12 
GeneralUseful PinmemberbinaryDigit@@24-May-08 6:49 
This is indeed useful. Couldn't a time table be used in a relational data store, like a calender table, instead of the datepart function? I try to avoid those functions on large tables since every row in the search condition has to be ckecked.

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