[Mondrian] Degenerate facts

John V. Sichi jsichi at gmail.com
Wed Jul 18 22:22:12 EDT 2007

julianhyde at speakeasy.net wrote:
> 3. As a future feature, we could extend the catalog.xml syntax to
> allow measures to be defined in tables other than the fact table.
> This is not trivial, because if they are in a different table, you
> need to specify a join path so mondrian would know how to get to the
> column. I've been thinking about separating the relational model
> (which specifies tables, SQL expressions, and join paths) from the
> dimensional model (which defines cubes and dimensions) within the
> catalog.xml file, and that would provide that metadata. There are a
> bunch of good reasons to do that separation, and this is one more.

If your DBMS supports it (efficiently), you can define a measure on a 
correlated subquery which looks up a value from a dimension table 
(regardless of whether the dimension table is actually known as a 
dimension to Mondrian).  The segment load measure computation SQL comes 
out "interesting":

   max((select sqft from store_dim s where w.store_id=s.store_id))
from warehouse_fact w
group by warehouse_id;

<Cube name="Warehouse">
   <Table name="inventory_fact_1997" alias="w"/>
   <Measure name="Max Store Sqftage" aggregator="max">
       <SQL dialect="luciddb">
(select sqft from store_dim s where w.store_id=s.store_id)

For max, it even makes sense in this example, though sum wouldn't due to 
multi-counting all the fact rows with the same warehouse_id.  Seems like 
granularity is the other hard part besides expressing join paths.

Or if you trust your DBMS's optimizer to eliminate unused joins, you can 
just create a join view and use that as your fact "table".

Of course, having Mondrian know how to generate optimal SQL without 
relying on any DBMS smarts would be ideal.


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