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Input dimension formulas in transformation processors

This article explains the syntax of input formulas that evaluate to a text string using dimension values, prefixes, and other string manipulation. Transformation processors such as Append Dimension to Measure Name and Set Dimension from Dimensions use such strings as a parameter named Input Dimension Formulas.

You can construct a formula by filling in separate fields in a dialog box instead of directly typing a single string. This can help avoid syntax mistakes. To open the Input Dimension Formula dialog box, click the ... icon to the right of the formula field.

For more information, see Entering a formula in separate fields.


The syntax of an input dimension formula is:

["<prefix>" +] <dimensionName>([<startPosition>, <length>, <paddingType>, "<paddingChar>"], <regEx>) [+ "<suffix>"]

The following rules apply:

  • A formula must contain exactly one dimension. If you need to supply values from more than one dimension, specify more than one input formula. Their strings are concatenated.

  • You can leave the parentheses empty to specify the exact dimension name. If you do specify arguments, they must be specified in order. For example, if you want to specify <paddingType> you must specify <startPosition> and <length> before it.

  • <startPosition> is an integer specifying the first character to capture from the dimension value. The first position is 1. The default value is -1, which causes capture to start at the beginning of the dimension value.

  • <length> is an integer specifying the number of characters to capture from the dimension value. The default is -1, which causes capture to run through the end of the dimension value.

  • <paddingType> specifies how to pad the dimension value when it is shorter than <length>. Valid values are LEADING, TRAILING, and NONE. The default is TRAILING.

  • <paddingChar> specifies the character with which to pad a short dimension value. If you specify a string longer than one character, only the first character is used. The default is a space.

  • <regEx> specifies a regular expression pattern that matches all or part of the dimension value and captures the portion to use. This is often used in place of <startPosition> and <length>. If you include <regEx> along with those parameters, <regEx> is evaluated first and then <startPosition> and <length> are applied to the string captured from the dimension value.

  • <prefix> and <suffix> are strings to prepend and append to the dimension value, respectively.

  • Double quotes (") around <prefix>, <suffix>, and <paddingChar> are optional.

  • If the dimension name includes a space or special characters, it must be enclosed in double quotes.


The following examples assume that the value of the ServiceName dimension is LargeVM. The value of alert message! is Array powered off..

Formula Evaluates to
ServiceName() LargeVM
east. + ServiceName() east.LargeVM
ServiceName(3, 10, LEADING, "0") + ":" 00000rgeVM:
ServiceName(1, 15, TRAILING, A) LargeVMAAAAAAAA
"something%" + ServiceName() something%LargeVM
"Message: " + "alert message!"() + " (queued)" Message: Array powered off. (queued)

Entering a formula in separate fields

When specifying a formula using the Input Dimension Formula dialog box, you type the formula's individual parameters into separate fields. The following rules apply:

  • The only required field is Dimension.
  • If you fill in any of the dimension name parameters (<startPosition> through <regEx>) without filling in the ones preceding it, those preceding parameters are populated with default values in the resulting formula to satisfy the syntax. For example, if you specify only Padding Type your formula will include the default value of -1 for both Start and Length.
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