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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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April 2012 Speaking Events

  • 6 April 2012
  • Author: DevinKnight
  • Number of views: 1731

This month I’ll be out and about quite a bit with speaking events.  Thought I’d detail them quickly in case you’re in Florida or interested in attending a free webinar.  Most topics on reporting of some nature this month.

Date: 04/11/2012

Group: Microsoft Webinar Series: Twelve Days of SQL 2012

Topic: Power View (SSRS)

Power View has the capability of creating eye-popping visualizations within SharePoint 2010. It provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting that can be used by a variety of business users to make critical decisions.  This session will focus on building Power View reports and where the tool stands with the other reporting tools in the MS stack.

Date: 04/19/2012

Group: Orlando PASS Chapter

Topic: Extending Reporting Services with Custom Code

The Reporting Services expression language can be a powerful tool for customizing report data and layout, but often times you will find it is lacking functionality that is easily available in .Net. While this session is not designed to teach you .Net it will show you some commonly used .Net functions for Reporting Services. We will also talk about the difference between custom code that is embedded in a report and external assemblies imported into Reporting Services.

Date: 04/28/2012

Group: SQL Saturday #130 Jacksonville

Topic: Choosing a Microsoft Reporting Technology

The Microsoft BI stack is fairly complex, especially on the front-end. In this session, we will cover when to use PerformancePoint, Reporting Services, Power View, PowerPivot or Excel Services. You will also see a little of each of these tools in action.

Full list of speaking events past, present and future can be found on my site:

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