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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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Divide by zero tweak

  • 8 November 2010
  • Author: DanielBowlin
  • Number of views: 9500

I am sure just about everyone here has run into divide by zero issues.  I have a standard way of handling divide by zero problems that I have found on this, and other sites.  Here is code I found somewhere on a blog or forum, and began using:

Public Function DivideBy(ByVal Exp1, ByVal Exp2)
 If Exp2 = 0 Then
 DivideBy = 0
 Else: DivideBy = Exp1/Exp2
 End If
End Function

This code is very easy to call from the expression builder, and provides a very consistent way to handle divide by zero errors.  I recently was working on a report where I was using a reference to report textbox as the denominator.  That textbox however, had some additional data in the expression that returned a N/A or something similar when the expression had some undesired results due to some bad data.  This was fairly easy to deal with right in the expression, but I thought I might have to deal with this again and set out to modify my function.  I ran into a slight problem in that the code window is not aware of all .Net name spaces.  So I ended up having to use the full name space to get the function working.  So here is my simple tweak that will handle both a divide by zero and a non numeric component in the equation.

Public Function DivideBy(ByVal Exp1, ByVal Exp2)
If Microsoft.VisualBasic.IsNumeric(Exp1) And Microsoft.VisualBasic.IsNumeric(Exp2) Then
 If Exp2 = 0 Then
  DivideBy = 0
 Else: DivideBy = Exp1/Exp2
 End If
 DivideBy = "N/A"
End If
End Function

I hope you find this useful.

Categories: Analysis Services
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