Fun with Extended Attributes

“Creating Column Level Extended Attributes in Power Designer”

In this post, I will demonstrate how to add extended attributes to a data model.  You can read the Power Designer documentation to learn how to do this but here I will give a specific real world example of how Extended Attributes can be uselful.

In this case, we will be adding extended attributes at the column level that allow us to document a portion of the data lineage for a data mart.  If you own the data model for the source system, you can create dependencies from one model to another.  However, if you don’t have the source model, extended attributes can be a good way of documenting the dependencies.

We will add extended attributes that will also allow us to create a source to target mapping that can be used to assist in the creation of the ETL spec.

To create Extended Attributes, you first need to create a new Extended Model Definition.  To do so, right click on the Model and select New => Extended Model Definition.

Name your Extended Model Definition.

Right click on “Profile” to add a metaclass.

Select “Column”.  You will use this to add extended attributes to columns in the next step.

After the “Column” metaclass has been added to the Profile, right-click on “Column” to add “Extended Attributes”.  Extended attributes are basically custom attributes that you can add to a column to track things such as source column information.  More on that later…

Let’s name the first extended attribute “Source_Table” and change the data type to “Text”.

Now we’re going to repeat the above step to add the following extended attributes: Source_Column, Source_Data_Type, Nulls_Allowed, Source_Column_Order, Source_Key, Transformation.

Now that we’ve created the extended attributes, we can start using them in the diagram.  First, open the column properties dialog box and click on the “Extended Attributes” tab.  Then, enter the values for the new extended attributes.  In this case we have added source system information that enables data lineage and traceability.

Obviously, you can create whatever extended attributes you want or are necessary for your source to target mapping.  These extended attributes will be available for every table and can be used in any reports.

In my next post, I will demonstrate how to create a method that exports the source to target mapping to an Excel file utilizing these attributes.

 

In this post, I will demonstrate how to add extended attributes to a data model.  You can read the Power Designer documentation to learn how to do this but here I will give a specific real world example of how Extended Attributes can be uselful.

 

In this case, we will be adding extended attributes at the column level that allow us to document a portion of the data lineage for a data mart.  If you own the data model for the source system, you can create dependencies from one model to another.  However, if you don’t have the source model, extended attributes can be a good way of documenting the dependencies.

 

We will add extended attributes that will also allow us to create a source to target mapping that can be used to assist in the creation of the ETL spec.

 

To create Extended Attributes, you first need to create a new Extended Model Definition.  To do so, right click on the Model and select New => Extended Model Definition.

 

 

 

Name your Extended Model Definition.

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One Response

  1. […] you don’t you can get the official documentation here or follow Joel’s quick example here.  The only thing you’ll need to do differently is select the PdCommon tab and change the […]

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