Object Naming Rules (Analysis Services)

Applies to: SQL Server Analysis Services Azure Analysis Services Fabric/Power BI Premium

This topic describes object naming conventions, as well as the reserved words and characters that cannot be used in any object name, in code or script in SQL Server Analysis Services.

Naming Conventions

Every object has a Name and ID property that must be unique within the scope of the parent collection. For example, two dimensions can have same name as long as each one resides in a different database.

Although you can specify it manually, the ID is typically auto-generated when the object is created. You should never change the ID once you have begun building a model. All object references throughout a model are based on the ID. Thus, changing an ID can easily result in model corruption.

DataSource and DataSourceView objects have notable exceptions to naming conventions. DataSource ID can be set to a single dot (.), which is not unique, as a reference to the current database. A second exception is DataSourceView, which adheres to the naming conventions defined for DataSet objects in the .NET Framework, where the Name is used as the identifier.

The following rules apply to Name and ID properties.

  • Names are case insensitive. You cannot have a cube named "sales" and another named "Sales" in the same database.

  • No leading or trailing spaces allowed in an object name, although you can embed spaces within a name. Leading and trailing spaces are implicitly trimmed. This applies to both the Name and ID of an object.

  • The maximum number of characters is 100.

  • There is no special requirement for the first character of an identifier. The first character may be any valid character.

Reserved Words and Characters

Reserved words are in English, and apply to object names, not Captions. If you inadvertently use a reserved word in an object name, a validation error will occur. For multidimensional and data mining models, the reserved words described below cannot be used in any object name, at any time.

For tabular models, where the database compatibility is set to 1103, validation rules have been relaxed for certain objects, out of compliance for the extended character requirements and naming conventions of certain client applications. Databases that meet these criteria are subject to less stringent validation rules. In this case, it's possible for an object name to include a restricted character and still pass validation.

Reserved Words

  • AUX

  • CLOCK$

  • COM1 through COM9 (COM1, COM2, COM3, and so on)

  • CON

  • LPT1 through LPT9 (LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, and so on)

  • NUL

  • PRN

  • NULL is not allowed as a character in any string within the XML

Reserved Characters

The following table lists invalid characters for specific objects.

Object Invalid characters
Server Follow Windows server naming conventions when naming a server object. See Naming Conventions (Windows) for details.
DataSource : / \ * | ? " () [] {} <>
Level or Attribute . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = [] {} < >
Dimension or Hierarchy . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = () [] {} <,>
All other objects . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = () [] {} < >

Exceptions: When Reserved Characters are Allowed

As noted, databases of a specific modality and compatibility level can have object names that include reserved characters. Dimension attribute, hierarchy, level, measure and KPI object names can include reserved characters, for tabular databases (1103 or higher) that allow the use of extended characters:

Server mode and database compatibility level Reserved characters allowed?
MOLAP (all versions) No
Tabular - 1050 No
Tabular - 1100 No
Tabular - 1130 and higher Yes

Databases can have a ModelType of default. Default is equivalent to multidimensional, and thus does not support the use of reserved characters in column names.

See Also

MDX Reserved Words
Translation support in Analysis Services