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IBM Cognos TM1 – Cube Naming Ideas


Start Early! 

Another important design best practice that should be established early in the development process is establishing naming conventions for your cubes. In fact, it is highly recommended that you introduce your entire project user community – Architects, Modelers, Contributors, Analysts and Consumers – to all of your naming conventions, as part of a “kick-off” of any project.                

Since there may be some differences in the meanings of certain terminologies across an organizations legacy systems or business units, you may want to consider actually developing a brand-new vocabulary and definitions for the solution being developed. Brand new terms won’t carry the “baggage” of legacy systems, processes and people, but remember– you will need a few “semantic anchors” to bridge the gap between old application terminology and the new system. 

Consistency is also vitally important! To maintain a “global view” of things it is important to appoint an objective team “naming czar” to mediate any conflicts or to cast a “deciding vote” if required. 

Generally Speaking

Here are some “general concepts” you should use when thinking about any cube name:

  • Choose cube names (and naming conventions) carefully; since it is increasingly difficult to rename a cube after some development has occurred and especially after deployment.
  • Effective and consistent cube naming is vital for application usability and maintainability.
  • Keep your cube names short and concise.
  • Use all lowercase with underscores as appropriate to improve readability
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 Cube Prefixes

 A common cube naming practice is to assign each cube a prefix that indicates the purpose of the cube. Prefixes in cube names will: 

  • Adds to the “clarity” of the application architecture
  • Improves maintainability of the application
  • Helps in applying and maintaining security
  • Etc.

 The best practice prefix suggestions are:








Once again, the sooner you start using a naming convention the sooner it will become part of every development effort. Better still all of your applications will have a consistent, professional, “look and feel”.

“Don’t stop here, I lost my place, I’m close behind” – Howie Day

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Jim Miller

Mr. Miller is an IBM certified and accomplished Senior Project Leader and Application/System Architect-Developer with over 30 years of extensive applications and system design and development experience. His current role is National FPM Practice Leader. His experience includes BI, Web architecture & design, systems analysis, GUI design and testing, Database modeling and systems analysis, design, and development of Client/Server, Web and Mainframe applications and systems utilizing: Applix TM1 (including TM1 rules, TI, TM1Web and Planning Manager), dynaSight - ArcPlan, ASP, DHTML, XML, IIS, MS Visual Basic and VBA, Visual Studio, PERL, Websuite, MS SQL Server, ORACLE, SYBASE SQL Server, etc. His Responsibilities have included all aspects of Windows and SQL solution development and design including: analysis; GUI (and Web site) design; data modeling; table, screen/form and script development; SQL (and remote stored procedures and triggers) development and testing; test preparation and management and training of programming staff. Other experience includes development of ETL infrastructure such as data transfer automation between mainframe (DB2, Lawson, Great Plains, etc.) systems and client/server SQL server and Web based applications and integration of enterprise applications and data sources. In addition, Mr. Miller has acted as Internet Applications Development Manager responsible for the design, development, QA and delivery of multiple Web Sites including online trading applications, warehouse process control and scheduling systems and administrative and control applications. Mr. Miller also was responsible for the design, development and administration of a Web based financial reporting system for a 450 million dollar organization, reporting directly to the CFO and his executive team. Mr. Miller has also been responsible for managing and directing multiple resources in various management roles including project and team leader, lead developer and applications development director. Specialties Include: Cognos/TM1 Design and Development, Cognos Planning, IBM SPSS and Modeler, OLAP, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Forecasting and Planning; International Application Development, Business Intelligence, Project Development. IBM Certified Developer - Cognos TM1 (perfect score 100% on exam) IBM Certified Business Analyst - Cognos TM1

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