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Using the LookML Diagram (beta)

The LookML Diagram (beta) is an extension — a web application built using Looker components — developed using the Looker extension framework and deployed through the Looker Marketplace.

The LookML Diagram (beta) is an entity-relationship diagram of a LookML model that visually depicts relationships between its LookML objects. Use this extension to:

Looker admins should refer to the Configuring the LookML Diagram (beta) extension documentation page for instructions on how to enable this extension for Looker users.

This documentation page discusses how to:

Navigating to the LookML Diagram (beta)

After the LookML Diagram (beta) has been installed, you can navigate to the LookML Diagram (beta) from any of these pathways:

Observing LookML object relationships with the LookML Diagram (beta)

Your Looker admin must grant you permissions to the lookml_diagram model and any model that you want to view in the extension.

The LookML Diagram (beta) extension consists of these elements:

  1. A Diagram icon to collapse the left navigation pane
  2. A Diagram Settings panel to select a model, a Git branch, and an Explore
  3. A View Options panel to refine which fields you would like to view
  4. A diagram canvas to interact with the LookML objects in the selected Explore
  5. A selected Explore’s list of fields, grouped by view
  6. A toolbar with zoom options and an icon to show or hide the canvas minimap, which helps to orient yourself within a larger diagram
  7. A Object Profiler to view information about the LookML object and navigate to its associated LookML or Explore, if applicable

Configuring diagram settings

Click the gear icon in the diagram navigation bar to display Diagram Settings.

Unless your Looker admin has granted you the appropriate permissions, you must be out of Development Mode to use the LookML Diagram (beta) extension.

The Choose a Model drop-down lists all the models for which you have permissions to view. Once you’ve selected a model, two additional options appear:

Explore viewing options

With an Explore selected, you can use the View Options panel to restrict which fields and views are displayed on the canvas.

Limiting displayed fields

You can choose to display all fields in each view of the Explore by selecting All fields under Fields to Display; or, to show only the views that have fields joined to other fields, select Fields with joins.

If enabled, the Hide hidden fields toggle hides any field that contains hidden: yes in its underlying LookML. The Hide hidden fields toggle is enabled by default.

Limiting displayed views

The Views section of the View Options panel shows a list of the views present in the selected Explore. By default, all views are displayed on the diagram canvas. When you hide a view, the view object and any joins that connect that view object to any other objects in the Explore are hidden from the diagram canvas.

Click Hide all to hide all the views in the Explore from the diagram canvas. Click Show all to unhide all views in that Explore.

You can also selectively hide individual views from the canvas by de-selecting the eye icon to the right of the view name. When the view is hidden, the view name appears grayed out and the eye icon has a slash through it. To unhide an individual hidden view, click the slashed-eye icon.

Interpreting the diagram canvas

The LookML Diagram (beta) canvas is where all entities and relationships for a given Explore are depicted. In the Looker vernacular you can think of the LookML Diagram (beta) as depicting how LookML objects are joined together in an Explore for a given model.

The object title bar across the top of the canvas displays the name of the Explore whose views are displayed on the canvas. Click the Explore info icon — an encircled “i” — in the object title bar to open the Object Profiler and learn more about the selected Explore. Click the clockwise arrow to reload the extension.

Entities

Each view of the Explore is represented as its own entity set, with the view name appearing at the top of the set. The Explore’s base view is indicated by a dark blue background; other views in the Explore have a light blue background. When a join, view, or field is selected, it is highlighted in a bright blue:

Below each view is a list of fields belonging to that view. Dimensions are listed at the top; measures are listed at the bottom and highlighted in yellow. If the field is a primary key, a key icon appears to the right of the field name. To the left of each field is an icon indicating its type:

Click the field name to open the Object Profiler and learn more about the selected field.

Relationships

The diagram uses a line to depict how each object relates to other object in the selected model. The shape of the line, where it attaches to the view or field, conveys the cardinality of the relationship between the two objects; a forked line indicates a “many” cardinality, and a single line indicates a “one” cardinality. You would read the relationship as from the base view to the joined view. For example:

  1. A one-to-one join from order_items to inventory_items, joining on the id field
  2. A many-to-one join join from order_items to repeat_purchase_facts

You can also hover over the line to see what type of join relationship connects the two objects.

Click the line to open the Object Profiler to view more information about the join.

Canvas viewing options

A minimap in the upper right of the canvas can help orient your placement within larger diagrams, with the grayed out portion of the map indicating what portion of the diagram is currently displayed on the canvas. Click and drag the empty space in the canvas to move to other parts of the diagram.

A vertical toolbar in the lower left of the canvas contains icons to control the diagram display:

Viewing object information with the Object Profiler

The Object Profiler displays information about the selected object. Click on any Explore, view, field, or join on the diagram canvas to open the Object Profiler on the right side of the canvas. Click the canvas to collapse the Object Profiler.

Explores

Click on the Explore info icon — an encircled “i” — on the right side of the object title bar.

For the Explore selected in the Diagram Settings panel, the Object Profiler displays:

If you have permissions to view LookML, you can click Go to LookML at the bottom left of the Object Profiler to open the file where the Explore is defined. The file opens in a new browser tab with the line for the explore highlighted.

Views

Click on a view from the diagram canvas.

The Object Profiler displays the SQL Table Name if defined in the view’s LookML. If no sql_table_name is defined for the view, the SQL Table Name is shown as unknown.

If you have permissions to view LookML, you can click Go to LookML at the bottom left of the Object Profiler to open the file where the Explore to which the view is joined is defined. The file opens in a new browser tab with the line for the explore highlighted.

Fields

Click on a field from the diagram canvas.

The Object Profiler displays the field name, type, and type value, and whether the field is a primary key at the top of the panel. Two tabs in the profiler — Details and Code — show additional information about the field.

In the Details tab, you can view:

In the Code tab, you can view the field parameter and subparameters.

If you have permissions to view LookML, you can click Go to LookML at the bottom left of the Object Profiler to open the file where the join is defined. The file opens in a new browser tab at the line for the join’s Explore.

If you have permissions to explore data, click Explore with Field at the bottom right of the Object Profiler to open an Explore with that field pre-selected in the Explore field picker.

Joins

Click on a join from the diagram canvas.

The Object Profiler displays the join statement that describes the join relationship and the type and cardinality of the join.

If you have permissions to view LookML, you can click Go to LookML at the bottom left of the Object Profiler to open the file where the join is defined. The file opens in a new browser tab at the line for the join’s Explore.

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