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SSAS – Display Folders

Display folders are an often used tool in Analysis Services to help end users navigate through a cube or dimension they could find what they need to build a report.  Imagine you develop a cube that has dozens of measures.  For an end user to find what they need they would be forced to dig through every measure.  If an end user gets lost while trying browsing the cube they are a lot less likely to continue using it. 

This is where display folders come in handy.  They make it easy for end users to find what they need and I’ve learned a few tricks with them that make it even easier for user to find what they need.

Whether it is a measure, calculation or attribute you can view the properties and give the object a display folder as shown below. 


When the user browses the cube now there will be a folder that makes it easy to find measures when organized properly.


Now most people that have developed Analysis Services cubes already know about display folders but the little piece I have to add here is how to nest folders and how one item can be in multiple folders.

To put a measure or an attribute in a nested folder you provide a folder name like this:



To put a measure or an attribute in multiple folders you provide a folder name like this:



I hope this helps make life easier for you and your end users so they can find what they want faster when building reports off your cube.

Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).


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