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Linking Cubes Using Formula

Cube data can flow from one cube to another using Formula. The key functions for this are the LINK and LINKBY functions.

LINKThe link function returns data from a specified cube at a relative location. If common dimensions exist, they can be excluded entirely from the relative location argument.


LINK("SourceCubeName", ["Element 1", "Element N"])


LINK("Travel Spend", [ "Total International Spend", "All Trips"])
LINKBYThe linkby function us used when retrieving values based on another value held in this cube. The initial two arguments are the same as the link function. The third argument is the relative location of the value to assist in locating a destination cell in the source cube.


LINKBY("SourceCubeName", ["Element 1", "Element N"], ["MappedValueStringLocation"])


LINKBY("Travel Rates", ["Flight Costs"], ["Destination"]

Consider an Annual Planning Model which feeds planned travel costs from a Travel cube to a central Profit and Loss cube. The travel cube has costs consolidated into Domestic and International Cost measures.

Profit and Loss Cube
Travel Cube
Travel Rates Cube
Profit and Loss Measures
Travel Measures
Travel Rates Measures


The table layout highlights common dimensions between cubes. It is likely that in a commercial model the Travel Rates cube will also have a Time dimension.


The formula is restricted to only the measure "Amount" and account "12301001". The formula uses the LINK function to create a link to the “Travel” cube using the relative location "International Travel Expenditure" and "All Trips". The specified elements are required as there is no commonality for these dimensions between cubes.

Since both cubes have "Scenario", "Department" and "Time" dimensions, and we want the elements from the source cube to match the target one-for-one, there is no need to include these in the LINK function.


The Scenario and Time dimensions are hidden in the "Profit and Loss" workview and instead a custom header is used to show the headings.

Example of using the LINKBY function

Consider a Travel planning component to a Performance Management Model. In the example, there are two Travel cubes used.

  • Travel Costs – The calculations and data entry is performed here.
  • Travel Rates – The travel assumptions accommodation, flights and allowance rates per night.

For the example both workviews will be opened with a vertical break:

Two Workviews

Cascading data validation is used for the data entry for Type of travel (Domestic or International) and Destination (a list of Domestic or International Destinations). Both of these validations use the "Destination" dimension which exists within the "Travel Rates" cube.

Workview Data Validation

A formula is applied to Accommodation Costs, Flight Costs and Allowances which pull the appropriate rate for the given Destination and use this with the number of people and in some instances the number of nights.

Workview Formula Editor The Accommodation Costs formula. This takes the rate from the Travel Rates cube for a given destination and multiplies it by the Number of People and the Number of Nights measures.

Workview Data Explain Explaining the calculated “Accommodation Costs” value.