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Metadata for LookML objects

If your Looker admin has enabled the IDE Metadata Sidebar Labs feature, users with develop permission can view contextually relevant information about the objects in the Looker IDE metadata panel.

To view the metadata panel in the Looker IDE:

  1. Navigate to your project file.
  2. Click the information icon to open the quick help panel.
  3. Click the Metadata tab to open the metadata panel:

The metadata panel identifies the object with a name and an icon that represents the object type (see the Navigating Projects with the Object Browser Panel documentation page for all the possible object type icons):

For LookML objects that are used in multiple models, the metadata panel will provide a drop-down menu so you can select the model for which you want to see metadata:

The information displayed in the metadata panel depends on the type of LookML object selected and how the object is used in your project. You can use metadata to better understand many aspects of your project, as described in the following sections.

Metadata for models

If you click in a model file, the metadata shows you the Explores, views, and LookML dashboards that are included in the model, and provides links to where they are defined:

Metadata for views

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New in Looker 21.0, the metadata panel shows the models that include the view and the primary key for a view.

If you click on a view parameter, the metadata panel provides the filename and the line number where the view is defined in the file’s LookML. The metadata panel also shows you how the view is used in your project:

  1. Models that include this view
  2. Explores that use this view as their base view
  3. Explores into which this view is joined
  4. The view’s primary key

If the view has extensions or refinements, these will also be displayed in the metadata panel.

Metadata for Explores

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New in Looker 21.0, the metadata panel shows the Explore’s base view.

If you click on an explore parameter, the metadata panel provides the filename and the line number where the Explore is defined in the file’s LookML. The metadata panel also shows you how the Explore is used in your project:

  1. The Explore’s base view (the view used as the starting point for building the Explore)
  2. Other views that are joined into the base view

If the Explore has extensions or refinements, these will also be displayed in the metadata panel.

Metadata for fields

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New in Looker 21.0, the metadata panel shows metadata for fields.

If you click on a field, the metadata panel provides a link to the filename and the line number where the field is defined in your LookML project. The metadata panel also shows you how the field is used in your project:

  1. Models that include this field’s view
  2. Views that use this field

Metadata for extensions

When you click on a view or explore parameter, the metadata panel shows the object’s extensions. Here is an example of an Explore that has been extended:

You can click the link in the metadata panel to navigate directly to the LookML where the object is extended.

Similarly, you can use the metadata panel on extending objects to get contextual information about the extended object. Here is an example of an Explore that extends another Explore. In this case, the metadata panel provides information about the original extended object, such as which views are joined into the Explore:

In these examples, the extending and extended explore parameters are next to each other in the same file, but this is not always the case. It’s not obvious by looking a parameter if it is extended, especially since the extended and extending objects can be in different LookML files. The metadata panel gives you context about the related objects, no matter where the objects are defined.

Metadata for refinements

The metadata panel makes it easy to see when a view or an Explore has refinements that have been added to the object. In this example, you can see that the view has more than one refinement, and you can use the links to navigate to the LookML for each refinement:

As with extensions, you can’t tell if an object is refined just by looking at the LookML, especially because the refinement LookML can be in a different file. The metadata panel allows you to see if an object has been refined, and lets you easily navigate to the LookML for the refinement.

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