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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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T-SQL Tuesday #13 - From A SQL Server Developer’s Point Of View

  • 14 December 2010
  • Author: Jason Bacani
  • Number of views: 3777

T-SQL Tuesday

Originally posted at

So I saw the topic this time around for T-SQL Tuesday #13 as “What the Business Says Is Not What the Business Wants”.  And then I read the fine print of “What issues have you had in interacting with the business to get your job done?”  After seeing this, I was determined I needed to chime in and add my two and half cents…

You see, I am a SQL Server Developer.  I am not a DBA.  I have some DBA power, but that’s a topic for another post…  However, I do not perform back ups nor monitor SQL Server traffic or such.  Instead, I develop applications that work with SQL Server, and recently more often, I troubleshoot existing production applications that use SQL Server.  As a developer and more importantly, as an IT Professional, I take pride in the work I do because I follow the concepts of the SDLC-- the software development life cycle.  More specifically, I like receiving code specifications and requirements via BRDs (business requirements documents) or help desk tickets, and I like following change control policies of ensuring code deployment of the work I do performs and works correctly when deployed across development, QA (quality assurance), and ultimately in production environments.

  What the customer/business really needed…

What the customer/business really needed… 

But here’s the thing.  The business wants something done right away.  Correction… They want it yesterday.  So what do we often do?  Well, in my experiences, I have seen IT development teams slam code directly into production.

Slamming a square peg into a round hole… The IT way?

Slamming a square peg into a round hole… The IT way?

The developer even has direct access to make changes in production, to either implement code or business processes directly, or even to affect data changes to SQL Server!  “OMG!”, right?  “Say it isn’t so!”  But yes, in the small shop I work with, it happens.  And it happens because the business wants it to happen.

But isn’t it the same business that’s telling IT to follow proper procedures?  Isn’t it the same business that’s telling IT to have separate roles where only DBA's have production data access and not developers?  Isn’t it the same business that’s telling IT to test and ensure all applications work properly before being deployed?  Why, yes it is.

Just say no to the SDLC!

Just say no to the SDLC!

Don’t get me wrong.  The business is not solely to blame on this; IT is not absolved of their involvement.  But it takes IT… It takes SQL Server professionals to make a stand and declare such direction as wrong and not possible.  Sure, the risks must be weighed against the business need, but following SDLC and following change control isn’t simply a topic in IT Management school; it’s sound policy that allows us SQL Server professionals—DBA and Developers and all—to have the ultimate pride in our work.

So again, what issues have you had in interacting with the business to get your job done?  Well, it’s not about getting the job done.  To me, it’s about getting the job done properly and correctly.

How the programmer/developer wrote it.

How the programmer/developer wrote it.

Oh.  As part of my two and half cents, I am sure many of you have seen this, but do check out The Project Cartoon site at  That’s where the tree images come from.  It’s a humorous view of projects and I think some of the images fit clearly with the topic “What the Business Says Is Not What the Business Wants”.

Thanks for reading!!!


Categories: Analysis Services
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