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LookML Projects and Developer Mode - Looker

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LookML Projects

Projects are generally created during Looker setup. Each project represents a git repository. It is a collection of LookML Files. LookML files describe relation and interpretation among database tables. Looker uses git for version control. It ensures data model collaboration among the developers.

Looker provides Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for creating and managing a data model.

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Project Files

Looker project generator creates a set of files. It can be used as a template for building out the project.

Every project lists its file in the following categories:

1. Project Manifest – Lists the names of various project files within it. Here you can import other files into your current project.
2. Documents – Documentation files are written in Github-flavoured Markdown.
3. Models - It defines Explore options and joins.
4. Views - It corresponds to database table or derived table.
5. Dashboards – LookML Dashboards define data and layouts for dashboards.
6. Data – Data files are JSON files that specify custom maps.

Development Mode vs. Production Mode

Looker Data Model exists in two states: Production Mode and Development Mode.

Production Mode

In Production Mode, users explore Looker data. It enables analyses and creation of content for business users. Look ML files in this mode are treated as read-only.

Development Mode (Dev or Developer Mode)

If you want to change your LookML, enter into Development Mode. This mode privately access the separate vision of data model. Once done, you can merge the project with Production.

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Switching In and Out of Development Mode

Development Mode can be switched on and off by either of methods:

1. Using shortcut Ctrl+Shift+D
2. Clicking Develop on Menu and pushing the Development Mode ON/OFF button.

       looker desktop

While you are still in Development mode, you will observe the following changes:

1.  LookML and Explore section of Looker are populated by development version.
2.  A Development Mode Bar appears on top of window in purple colour.

        Development Mode

To exit Development Mode, one must:

1. Use shortcut Ctrl+Shift+D
2. Click Exit Development Mode on the purple banner.
3. Click Development Mode ON/OFF button.

          To exit Development Mode

Version Control

Looker’s IDE is integrated with Git. This enables private copy edit in LookML files in Development Mode. Git can be used to Commit and Push changes to Production. Looker automatically manages Git workflows for these changes.

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Ravindra Savaram
About The Author

Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter. Protection Status