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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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Save Frequently Used Connections in SQL Server Management Studio

  • 25 June 2010
  • Author: DustinRyan
  • Number of views: 48290

If you're like me, you probably have a significant number of servers you access on a regular basis, which means every time you start up SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) you have to log in to each server typing in user names and passwords and connecting one at a time. I find this very obnoxious and annoying.

Thankfully, SQL Server Management Studio allows you to save connections to various servers via Registered Servers, which can include Database Engines, Reporting Services, Integration Services, and Analysis Services. Registered servers allow you to easily check if a server is running, create groups of servers, use user-friendly names for your servers, and import/export your registered server groups.

To view and add a registered server, start up SSMS go to View > Registered Servers. Then in the Registered Servers pane, right-click Local Server Groups and click New Server Registration.

New Registered Server

Then just enter the server name, select the authentication, key in the User name and Password if necessary, and check Remember password.

Now each time you start up SSMS, your registered servers will be viewable in the Registered Servers pane. Simply double-click the server you wish to navigate and that server will be opened within the Object Explorer.

You can read more about Registered Servers here.

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