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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Setting role security in SSAS for a role-playing dimension

Here is a common got-ya.  You are modifying the cube dimension security for a role-playing dimension.  You make the changes and the cube processes successfully.  But when you try to connect to the cube, you get the following error message: The ‘XXX’ attribute in the ‘YYY’ dimension has a generated dimension security expression that is not valid.

The likely cause: You set the security on the database dimension, but should have set it on the cube dimension.  In the dimensions drop down on the Dimension Data tab of the Roles editor, database dimensions are listed first, then cube dimensions second.  So it’s a common mistake to choose the database dimension since it’s listed first and has the same name as the cube dimension.

A cube dimension is an instance of a database dimension within a cube.  A database dimension can be used in multiple cubes, and multiple cube dimensions can be based on a single database dimension (when this happens the cube dimensions are called a role-playing dimensions).

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