Regular dimensions represent descriptive data that provides context for data modeled in measure dimensions. A regular dimension is broken into groups of information called levels. In turn, the various levels can be organized into hierarchies. For example, a product dimension can contain the levels Product Line, Product Type, and Product organized in a single hierarchy called Product.
Another example is a time dimension that has the levels Year, Quarter, Month, Week, and Day, organized into two hierarchies. The one hierarchy YQMD contains the levels Year, Quarter, Month, and Day, and the other hierarchy YWD contains the levels Year, Week, and Day. The simplest definition of a level consists of a business key and a caption, each of these referring to one query item. An instance (or row) of a level is defined as a member of that level. It is identified by a member unique name, which contains the values of the business keys of the current and higher levels. For example, [gosales].[Products].[ProductsOrg].[Product]->[All Products]. .. identifies a member that is on the fourth level, Product, of the hierarchy ProductsOrg
of the dimension [Products] that is in the namespace [gosales]. The caption for this product is TrailChef Canteen, which is the name shown in the metadata tree and on the report.
另一个示例是时间维度，含有年,季,月,周,日各级别。它们被组织成二个层级,一个层级YQMD包含年,季,月, 日这几个级别，另一个层级 YWD包含年,周,日这三个级别。一个简洁的级别 组成一个业务键和标题，每一个对应一个查询项。级别的一个实例（一行数据）被定义作为级别的成员。通过成员唯一名来标识，包含当前或更高级别的业务键的值。例如，[gosales].[Products].[ProductsOrg].[Product]->[All Products]. ..在第四个级别标识一个成员。[gosales]是命名空间，[products]是维度，[ProductsOrg]是层级，[Product]是级别。
The level can be defined as unique if the business key of the level is sufficient to identify each set of data for a level. In the GO Sales sample model, the members of the Product level do not require the definition of Product type because there are no product numbers assigned to many different product types. A level that is not defined as unique is similar to a determinant that uses multiple-part keys because keys from higher levels of granularity are required (p. 326). If members within ancestor members are not unique but the level is defined as unique, data for the non-unique members is reported as a single member. For example, if City is defined as unique and identified by name, data for London, England and London, Canada will be combined.
A regular dimension may also have multiple hierarchies; however, you can use only one hierarchy at a time in a query. For example, you cannot use one hierarchy in the rows of a crosstab report and another hierarchy from the same dimension in the columns. If you need both hierarchies in the same report, you must create two dimensions, one for each hierarchy.