The object browser panel in the Looker IDE allows you to view all the objects in your project in one place, along with the hierarchical relationships between them. This can be a useful alternative to navigating your project by file or folder, as it may be easier to find specific LookML objects and understand the relationships between them.
Viewing the Objects in a Project
The object browser panel shows the models, Explores, views, and fields that have been defined in your project, along with the hierarchy of objects and the type of each object. If your project also includes imported files, you can read more details about viewing those objects below.
To use the object browser panel, select the object browser icon, which is below the folder icon in the IDE navigation bar:
The object browser panel groups objects by type, and objects are sorted alphabetically within each type. Using the object browser panel, you can show or hide the hierarchies of objects by expanding or collapsing objects.
Collapsing and Expanding Objects
You can collapse and expand models, Explores, and views to reveal or hide the objects they contain. Any model in a project is expanded by default in the object browser panel, revealing a list of the Explores defined in the model:
You can collapse or expand an object by selecting the arrow to the left of its name in the object browser panel:
Viewing the Type of an Object
The object browser panel lists the following object types:
You can view the type of an object in your project by hovering over that object’s name in the object browser panel. In the example below, hovering over the
distribution_centers object reveals that
distribution_centers has the type
The icon to the left of each object’s name also identifies the object type:
- = Model
- = Explore
- = View
- = Dimension
- = Dimension group
- = Measure
- = Filter
- = Parameter
Hovering over the name of a field in the object browser panel reveals the value of the field’s
type subparameter. In the example below, the icon to the left of the
id object indicates that it is a dimension, and hovering over the
id dimension reveals that it is a
type: number dimension:
Navigating to the LookML for an Object
To navigate to the LookML for an object, select the name of the object in the object browser panel. When you select an object, the IDE takes you to the file in which the object is defined and positions your cursor on the first line of the object’s declaration.
In this example, selecting the
inventory_items Explore opens the
e_thelook.model file in the IDE and positions the cursor at the top of the
explore declaration for
Note that the object browser panel shows the
distribution_centers views that have been joined into the
Viewing Imported Objects in the Object Browser Panel
When you import files from another project and include those imported files in your active project, you can use the object browser panel to view imported objects as well.
For example, suppose you have used the
local_dependency parameter in your project’s manifest file to import a local project called
thelook, which contains a view called
To make the
repeat_purchase_facts view available to your model, you can include that view and create a
You can then view the
repeat_purchase_facts Explore in the object browser panel and expand the Explore to show any views it contains:
Navigating to the LookML for an imported object opens the file in which it was defined, which will be read-only because it is an imported project file.
Viewing Extended Objects in the Object Browser Panel
If your project includes a view or an Explore that extends another view or Explore, you can use the object browser panel to view and navigate to the LookML for the extending object. When you expand a view that extends another, the object browser panel shows the fields from the base view along with any fields that you have added in the extending view.
For example, suppose you have a defined a view —
products_extended — that extends another view called
products and adds new fields:
You can see that the object browser panel shows both the fields defined in the base
products view and the new fields defined in the
You can also navigate to the LookML for the extending object by selecting its name in the object browser panel.
Viewing Refined Objects in the Object Browser Panel
You can use the object browser panel to view the contents of a refined view or Explore, or to navigate to the LookML for the refinements in your project.
The object browser panel lists refinements and the Explores or views they build upon as single objects, rather than displaying refinements and their base objects separately. If you use refinements to add fields to a view or to join views to an Explore, the fields or views you add will be displayed together with the contents of the original view.
When you select the name of a refined view or Explore in the object browser panel, the IDE opens to the line in your LookML on which the refinement is defined. If a view or an Explore has been refined multiple times, the IDE navigates to the last refinement of that object by include order.
As an example, suppose you want to add a new dimension,
air_carrier, to a view called
flights without modifying the original LookML for the view. To refine the
flights view, use the
view parameter and add a plus sign (+) in front of the name of the view:
When you expand the
flights view in the object browser panel, the
air_carrier field is displayed:
When you’re adding refinements to your project, be mindful of the order in which refinements are applied. Refinements are applied line by line going downwards within a single file, and by the order in which their files are included if an object is refined multiple times in multiple files. See the LookML Refinements documentation page for information about the order in which refinements are applied.