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Metadata for LookML objects

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New in Looker 7.20, Looker supports the metadata panel in the Looker IDE.

If your Looker admin has enabled the IDE Metadata Sidebar Labs feature, you can click on a parameter in the Looker IDE and use the metadata panel to get contextually relevant information about the object.

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 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, such as:

Metadata for views

If you click on a view parameter, the metadata shows you how the view is used in your project:

The metadata provides context for how the view is used in your project:

  1. Explores that use this view as their base view
  2. Explores into which this view is joined

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

Metadata for extensions

When you click on a view or an 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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