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«November 2015»

DirectQuery in Power BI Desktop

In the latest Power BI Desktop a new Preview features was released that now allows you to connect using DirectQuery to either SQL Server or Azure SQL Databases.  DirectQuery is a really neat feature that allows you to point to the live version of the data source rather than importing the data into a data model in Power BI Desktop. 

Normally when you want to get an updated dataset in the Power BI Desktop you would have to manually click the refresh button (this can be automated in the Power BI Service), which would initiate a full reimport of your data.  This refresh could take a variable amount of time depending on how much data your have.  For instance, if you’re refreshing a very large table you may be waiting quite a while to see the newly added data. 

With DirectQuery data imports are not required because you’re always looking at a live version of the data.  Let me show you how it works!

Turning on the DirectQuery Preview

Now, because DirectQuery is still in Preview you must first activate the feature by navigating to File->Options and settings->Options->Preview Features then check DirectQuery for SQL Server and Azure SQL Database


Once you click OK you may be prompted to restart the Power BI Desktop to utilize the feature.

Using DirectQuery in Power BI Desktop

Next make a connection either to an On-Premises SQL Server or Azure SQL database.

Go to the Home ribbon and select Get Data then SQL Server.


Provide your Server and Database names then click OK. ***Do not use a SQL statement.  It is not currently supported with DirectQuery***


From the Navigator pane choose the table(s) you would like to use.  I’m just going to pick the DimProduct table for this example and then click Load.  You could select Edit and that would launch the Query Editor where you could manipulate the extract.  This would allow you to add any business rules needed to the data before visualizing it.


Next you will be prompted to select what you want to connect to the data. Again, Import means the data

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The Big Data Blog Series

Over the last few years I’ve been speaking a lot on the subject of Big Data. I started by giving an intermediate session called “Show Me Whatcha’ Workin’ With”. This session was designed for people who had attended a one hour introductory session that showed you how to load data, to look at possible applications … Continue reading The Big Data Blog Series
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Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 Webinar

  • 8 August 2011
  • Author: BradSchacht
  • Number of views: 3851



Tomorrow I will be presenting a webinar at 11 AM eastern time for the Pragmatic Works Training on the T?s.  This month each of the authors of the SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence 24-Hour Trainer available from Wrox are presenting a topic they covered in the book.  I happened to write the chapter on setting up and deploying Excel services applications.  So tomorrow get ready for awesomeness to overtake your computer screen for an hour while I explain Excel services to you.  We will set up the web application, build a workbook and then deploy it.  This session is not made to give you all the information about Excel services, but it will give you some great insight into how to use it if you are new to SharePoint or considering upgrading to SharePoint 2010.


As always the webinar is a FREE event.  Just head over to to register.  If you aren?t able to make it out you can always view the recording after it is done.  Here is the link to register:


And here are all the details of the session:

Presenter: Bradley Schacht

When: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 11:00 AM ? 12:00 PM EDT

Excel Services is an extremely powerful tool that you can use inside your environment to help improve workflow and collaboration.  In this session Brad will take you from start to finish through the process for getting your new SharePoint 2010 site ready to work with Excel Services.  Some of the topics discussed will include the service application, associating the application with your SharePoint site, data connections and the unattended service account.  Once the site is configured to work with Excel Services we will create a report inside Excel, deploy it and show some of the great features available like embedding portions of the workbook into a dashboard.  After this session you will be able to create a new Excel Services web application and use it to share workbooks in your environment.

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