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Data Set Name Alias

Problem: Data set names aren't user friendly in hindsight

Example: Data set name = GreatData and I do a prep step and it defaults to "GreatData_prepared" which is fine, but later I decide this is the "final data set" that should be used by others and I'd like a more intuitive name.  I understand changing data set names is not recommended.

Solution: Can we have an alias name for data sets? Then I could create an alias for this data set called "User_Demographics" or "Final_GreatData" or "Dashboard_GreatData" etc.  Then allow for an alias name view in the flow?

5 Comments
Marlan
Neuron
Neuron

Hi @VMaus, I actually regularly rename datasets and haven't had a problem yet. I do need to change references manually in the associated SQL Script and Python recipes but after I do that all seems fine. I agree that the first name I select often isn't what I ultimately want and it's worth it to me to do the renaming because more accurate/ descriptive names means it's easier for me and others to understand the flow later.  

Ideally renaming datasets would be a fully supported operation.

Marlan

VMaus
Level 2
Level 2

Thanks for that feedback @Marlan I've been too afraid to change the names and end up adding descriptions to help with this.

tgb417
Neuron
Neuron

@Marlan,

Years ago when I first started using DSS (somewhere maybe V4 or V5).  I made swiss cheese out of a project by renaming a dataset and could never recover it again.  Since then I've avoided changing names.  

I agree, default names are never the actual idea of the data set when you are going to make the project production or turn it over to someone else, the dataset names never really make any sense.

I have been known to walk through parts of projects connecting new datasets with better names to existing steps, then running the step, and then connecting the next visual step to the newly created dataset with a better name.  However, that is all kinds of ways painful.

Based on your comments, and 4 or 5 versions worth of bugs having been cleaned up in DSS.  I might try to rename datasets again.

Making Refactoring DSS Project element Names in all areas of the system would be a great help for re-usability and discoverability.

Marlan
Neuron
Neuron

Hi @tgb417, note that the context in which I've renamed datasets has always been with associated SQL Script or Python recipes. Renaming might be more risky with visual recipes. Just wanted to share that caveat. 

Marlan 

tgb417
Neuron
Neuron

@Marlan ,

Noted.