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TimeXtender Data Dictionary and Documentation Project

Author: Charles Lorenz

Editor: Doug Wynkoop

What is the Repository Documentation Project?

The TimeXtender Data Dictionary and Documentation Project, here called the Repository Documentation Project, is a self-updating documentation project. It is designed to capture information about your projects, and make it easy to report back the following:

  • All projects within a specified project repository
  • The object hierarchy within a given project
  • All definitions provided in the Description area for all objects within a specified project repository

Before You Begin

In order to set up the Repository Documentation Project, be sure you have the following:

  1. You can download the Repository Documentation project from the CubeStore.
  2. You have an active project repository and at least one DWA project.
  3. You understand the basic functioning of the TimeXtender DWA tool and the objects contained therein; i.e. Project, Cube, Data Warehouse, Business Unit (Staging), and Data Sources.
  4. You understand how to connect an Excel Pivot Table report to an existing OLAP cube.

Using the Repository Documentation Project

The Repository Documentation project captures all TX objects and their descriptions, arranges them hierarchically, and then stores that information in an OLAP cube for reporting.

Therefore, you can use any reporting tool that can talk to SQL Server Analysis Services to create customized documentation reports.

The ObjectDictionary OLAP cube contains the following items:

  • Object Count: A measure that is a count of the objects contained within the objects displayed.
  • Parent Object: A hierarchy of all objects within the project related to their parent object.
  • Object: The objects in the project repository. That is, every project, table, field, view, cube, and cube dimension.
  • ObjectTypeDescription: A description of the type of object. In addition, the “Parent Object” and “Object” fields have an additional property that can be displayed.
  • ObjectDescription: The description of the object displayed. That is, the description of the object that was provided in the TimeXtender description window.

NOTE: The ObjectDescription field is only available as a property of the Object and Parent Object fields.

An Excel example of an Object Dictionary report is available for download at the end of the article, and looks like this: 

Best Practice for Repository Documentation Project

The Repository Documentation project uses the Description provided for every object (shown next). In order for the Repository Documentation project to be a true dictionary you must provide concise and descriptive definitions for those objects you would like to define. 

Furthermore, it is important that you name your project, data warehouse, business unit, and data sources with a unique and descriptive name. Otherwise, it can get confusing to navigate through the Repository Documentation project and understand what you have.

Finally, like all TimeXtender projects, you should refresh this project on a regular basis. We recommend you set a nightly update schedule for the Repository Documentation project.  This will ensure you always have the most up to date Object representation in your Repository Documentation project.

Connecting & Initializing the Repository Documentation Project

  1. Open the CubeStore and download the Repository Documentation project.                                         
  2. After downloading via the Cube Store if you are not prompted with the Connection Wizard (pictured in step 4), go to the project level, right click, and select connection manager.                                           
  3. Again, if you are not prompted with the Connection Wizard (pictured in step 4), click on the Run Wizard button.       
  4. Follow the wizard to set up the following:
    • Create the RDStaging database. Be sure to click Create.    
    • Connect to your project repository.   That is, the database that contains your DWA projects. It is most likely called “ProjectRepository” or something very similar.    
    • Create the RDDWH database. Be sure to click Create.    
    • Create the RDOlap connection.    
  5. Click Test Connections. You should get all green bubbles.   
  6. Deploy and execute the project at the project level.  

 

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