This definition is specific to Analytical Workspace.
Attributes provide information about the individual members of a dimension. They are used for labeling crosstabular and graphical data displays, selecting data, organizing dimension members, and so forth.
All dimensions (in AW) are created with a long and a short description attribute.
Note: Discoverer Plus OLAP, Spreadsheet Add-In, and OracleBI Beans use long description attributes in selection lists and for labelling crosstabs and graphs. If your source tables include only one set of labels, then you should always map the long description attributes.