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Thread: Tactics for Managing "Unknown" dimension rows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Tactics for Managing "Unknown" dimension rows

    My company has just decided to use Kettle as our ETL product. I am sure I will have many questions over time, and hope to document my experiences for the benefit of the community. My first question is:

    Is there a common supported way in Kettle to insert/manage a dimension's "unknown" or "unspecified" row. Where i can have access to it's surrogate id for fact row usage?

    If not, do most people just insert this one row manually into their dimension tables and then hard code the surrogate id into their fact transformations?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999


    Hi Dan,

    The "unknown" row is automatically inserted into the dimension table if it isn't found. This verification is done each time the Dimension lookup step starts to run. The check is performed even when running in "lookup" mode.
    Usually the unknown entry is using ID 0 unless for some reason that number can't be used in the database table. (usually because the auto-increment ID can only start with 1)

    This means that if you like the defaults (most if not all fields are null) you're done.
    If not, you can update or insert your own values into the unknown record yourself.



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