Thanks Alan and Dmitriy for your thoughts.
I think we have two different approaches now.
In one approach, if we encounter a null in dimension values we can just label it as "unknown" and use "NULL" string to represent rollups. Whereas, in other approach, if we encounter a null in dimension values, use the null value as such but use "*" or any other string for rollups.
Both approaches looks good to me. Please let me know which one should I go ahead with.
On Jun 8, 2012, at 12:22 PM, Alan Gates wrote:
> Option 1 (throwing an error) is bad. It violates "Pigs eat anything" (see http://pig.apache.org/philosophy.html).
> Do we need to give users an ability to name this unknown column? Why not just label it "unknown" and be done?
> On Jun 6, 2012, at 2:24 PM, Prasanth J wrote:
>> Hello everyone
>> I would like to bring up this discussion about the ways for handling NULL values in dimensions specified for cubing. For example, if we have a dimension color with following values
>> how do we differentiate if the null value represent rollup of all colors values or actual null value?
>> SQL way:
>> There are 2 ways in which SQL server analysis services handles null values in dimensions
>> 1) Throw error when it encounters null values in dimension values
>> 2) Ignore error by adding the null values to UnknownMembers. By default UnknownMembers will be named as "Unknown". The name for UnknownMembers can also be specified by the user.
>> Do we need to handle both ways in Pig? I think the first way (throwing error) is pretty straightforward.
>> For the second way (ignoring error), what is the best way to provide support for user specified name for UnknownMembers?
>> Please share your thoughts about how we can handle this scenario for different datatypes in Pig.
>> -- Prasanth