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Ramifications of Changing the Name and Label of a Dimension Member

Posted by Alan on August 9, 2008

Almost every component of PerformancePoint Planning (Applications, Model Sites, Dimensions, Cycles, Jobs, etc.) allows you to change the value in the “Name” field but not the “Label” field.  At a database level, “Label” is your unique identifier.  Now I personally have always thought that the PPS team got this backwards and that “Name” should be the unique ID and “Label” should be the changeable field, but they never bothered to ask me, so I guess we just have to go with it….

Now when it comes to Dimension Members they are treated a little differently.  You can change the value in either the “Name” or “Label” fields even after you have created and deployed your Model, created an Input Form, begun a Cycle and started submitting data. 

At a first glance, this seems to be a great thing.  Being able to modify the value in the “Label” field gives you ultimate flexibility to modify your structure as your organization changes over the course of time .  When you make a change, after you re-deploy your model when you open up your forms or reports, the new names are displayed.

However, there is an ugly downside to this flexibility.  If on your forms/reports you have included a filter, that filter will cease to work if one of the values in the filter has had its “Label” changed — basically the filter is now looking for something that does not exist anymore.  In addition, any custom created MDX rules that you have created will also cease to function.  Both of these will have to be re-worked in order for your Model to function properly. 

Ultimatley remember this  — a change to a “Label” done in the PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler does not roll-down to forms or rules, so be very careful and think it through before you ever change a Dimension Member’s Label.

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6 Responses to “Ramifications of Changing the Name and Label of a Dimension Member”

  1. Peter Eb. said

    After SP1 label changes should not affect the planning addin as much. In most cases the AS advertised unique name will be used instead of the label. Which brings us more in line with other reporting tools like Excel PivotTables and PPS M&A…

  2. Alan said

    Peter, can you comment more here? From my point of view and testing, when you change both the name and label then filters tend to break (rows and columns are fine). Is there something I am missing?

  3. Peter Eb. said

    In the case of a filter its pretty confusing. The data is correct (although i think the old label will be displayed), and when you go to the popup tree control the wrong item is selected…

    So in practice the filter value needs to be updated if it is visible, but with a locked/hidden filter most users wouldn’t notice if the label or name had changed…

    But in a matrix authored in SP1 should display the same data before and after name/label changes…

  4. Alan said

    I see where you are going on this one. You are right, the data displayed is in the “correct” place and it really just does effect the filters that are visible. Thanks for the clarifications.

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  6. I respect how you worked hard to get this info and gather it in one place. thanks

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