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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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Check Mount Points Free Space with PowerShell

  • 11 August 2011
  • Author: BradSchacht
  • Number of views: 7480

Those who know me will know that this post is a little out of the ordinary... I am posting about PowerShell. I have done one previously about Backing up and restoring site collection in SharePoint, so believe me I will admit that it has its place.  Well I was onsite with a client today and found another use for PowerShell: checking the size of and free space on mount points on an HP appliance.  This method will work with any machine, but this specifically happen to be on a server using mount points.  The script isn't exactly friendly to remember, but that's what you have that little bookmark button at the top of the browser for.  :)

Mount points are specialized NTFS file system objects used to provide entry into another volume.  In this particular case the fast track hardware from HP used mount points to connect to the storage for a combined total of over 24 TB.  I didn't want to leave that amount of storage or the 200GB of memory behind, but it had to happen.   Anyway, you can't just right click on the mount point (which just shows up as a shortcut on the file system) and go to properties to see the amount of storage available.  Nor can you open My Computer and right click and do that for the C:\ drive because it will show you just the C drive, not all the mount points.  The following PowerShell script to the rescue.  It will display the storage total size and amount of free space in bytes, so you have to do a little conversion to get it into a useful number for you.

gwmi win32_volume|where-object {$_.filesystem -match “ntfs”}|ft name,capacity,freespace

The output will look something like this:

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