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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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PowerPivot for Excel 2013

  • 17 July 2012
  • Author: BradSchacht
  • Number of views: 1504

The preview for Office 2013 is live!! You can hop over to the Microsoft website and grab it here: Naturally I am eager to see all the BI features in both Office and SharePoint. If you have ever used PowerPivot then you know how cool the technology is. Well, with Office 2013 it gets even better.

If you recall, PowerPivot WAS an add-on for Excel 2010 available for download at Well, in Office 2013 that all changes; PowerPivot is now included in Excel! According to the wording on the Microsoft page for PowerPivot 2013 you can also work with Power View in Excel. That will be awesome, I’ll do some more looking into that and report back in the next day or two though.

PowerPivot 2013 is not enabled by default though. To enable it fire up Excel and Select File -> Options

Then select Add-ons

Next select COMM Add-ins from the Manage box and click Go

Check the box next to Microsoft Office PowerPivot for Excel 2013 and click OK (Optionally check the Power Viewbox while you are here as well)

At this point you are good to go with PowerPivot 2013!

I have the PowerPivot 2012 RTM on my machine so it looks like Excel automatically picked that up as being enabled. In my case I had to uncheck the PowerPivot for Excel box (which was the 2012 version) and then check the box for Microsoft Office PowerPivot for Excel 2013 in order to get the newer version. If you don’t have a previous version of PowerPivot installed though you don’t need to worry about unchecking the PowerPivot for Excel option.

Categories: News, Big Data, SQL Server
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