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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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SSIS: Using the Script Component to Obtain an Error Description

  • 27 December 2011
  • Author: Jennifer Salvo
  • Number of views: 9499

In the SSIS data flow, many data flow components provide an ErrorOutput that allows you to route rows that generate errors or truncation to another component in the data flow.  The ErrorOutput path contains the following metadata: ErrorCode, ErrorColumn and Flat File Source Error Output Column.


  • Flat File Source Error Output Column – The data row that generated the error.
  • ErrorCode – Code associated with the error that occurred.
  • ErrorColumn – Numeric ID of the column that caused the error.

Obtaining the ErrorDescription requires a bit more work, but can be easily accomplished using the data flow Script Component.

The first step is to add a  ‘Script Component’ to your data flow and connect the Error Output as an input to the script component as shown below.


Double click on the script component to edit.

Under the ‘Input Columns’ tab, check the ErrorCode column (you may also include additional columns if you wish to use them in subsequent data flow components).  This column is required to obtain the Error Description.  The ‘Usage Type’ should be set to ReadOnly.


Next, select the ‘Inputs and Outputs’ tab.  Expand ‘Output 0’ and select ‘Output Columns’. Click the ‘Add Column’ button.  In the ‘Name’ field, enter a descriptive name such as ErrorDescription.  Set the DataType field to string [DT_STR] and the length to 255.


Click on the ‘Script’ tab and then click the ‘Edit Script’ button.


Modify the Input0_ProcessInputRow function (this example uses C#)

public override void Input0_ProcessInputRow(Input0Buffer Row)
      Row.ErrorDescription = this.ComponentMetaData.GetErrorDescription(Row.ErrorCode);

Categories: Analysis Services
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