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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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Series Data Label Formatting Charts in SSRS 2008

  • 12 November 2009
  • Author: MikeDavis
  • Number of views: 69802

I was creating a Pie Chart for a report in Reporting Services 2008 and wanted to show the Data Labels on the Chart. I also wanted to show the labels in the proper Currency format. The normal format menu would not let me change the formatting of the labels.Here are the steps I took and how I fixed it.

I right clicked on the pie chart and clicked Show Data Labels.

Series Data Label Format



The numbers were currency so I right clicked on the one of the labels and selected Series Label Properties.

Series Data Label Format


Then I clicked on the Number Node on the left and Selected Currency.

Series Data Label Format


Then I previewed the report and saw the labels were not formatted as currency.

Series Data Label Format


I then went back to design view and clicked on a label so the properties of the label would show in the label field. I then changed the label Format property to “c”.

Series Data Label Format


I went back to preview the report and it worked.Series Data Label Format

So if you need to format the labels on a chart it seems the UI does not allow you to change the labels and the format property does allow you to change the Series Labels. Of course you can use any of the formatting options and you are not limited to currency.

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