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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 #48: Head in the Cloud

  • 12 November 2013
  • Author: Kathi Kellenberger
  • Number of views: 2529

It's T-SQL Tuesday again! This time my colleague Jorge Segarra (@sqlchicken) is the host and the topic is Cloud Atlas.

A few years ago I was teaching SSRS for a training company in St. Louis. A gentleman in the class had worked at a local pharmaceutical company for over ten years doing the same job in exactly the same way. The man had been laid off from the company as they made cuts during the downturn in the economy. He was now taking all the SQL Server classes at the training center as part of the deal he received when he lost his job.

Despite over 10 years in IT, he struggled with the class. Every time he couldn’t get something to work, he would say “That’s Microsoft for you.” He admitted he was woefully behind on current technologies because his company would not pay for any training while he was there. I’m wondering if he just never approached his manager asking if he could take a class or buy a book. But, even if they would not pay for training that is not an excuse to ignore what is going on in the world of technology. It is important to invest in yourself and your skills in whatever way you can. There are a ton of free resources available, and it just takes some discipline on your part to learn something new every day.

So, what should you be learning about today? What is the fast approaching future? I think one of the most important topics to pay attention to today is the cloud. Using the cloud, companies can create applications that scale out on demand paying only for the resources they use. It’s probably just a matter of time before the company you work for is taking advantage of cloud services if they are not already.

So, how can you learn about the cloud? If you have an MSDN license, you can experiment with Microsoft Azure services for free. You can spin up a VM already loaded with SQL Server 2014, create an Azure SQL Database, and much more. If you don’t have an MSDN license, you can take advantage of a free trial. Outside of Microsoft Azure, there are many other cloud vendors such as Amazon.

We are heading to a new world in IT; don’t get left behind.



Categories: SQL Server
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