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James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger (JamesSerra.com) and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

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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