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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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Microsoft Business Intelligence Certification 70-448, SSIS, SSAS, SSRS

  • 30 January 2010
  • Author: MikeDavis
  • Number of views: 45562

I just passed the Microsoft BI certification test 70-448 on SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS. It was a tough test and covers all aspects of the Microsoft BI stack. I used a lot of different study materials. Here is my assessment of the study materials I used and which ones helped the most.

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-448): Microsoft SQL Server 2008-Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance: MCTS Exam 70-448 (Self-Paced Training Kits) (Paperback): This book was great, if you do all of the labs in this book and study all 200 questions in the practice test it will get you prepared for the test. Just doing the practices questions on the CD is not enough. The labs in the book have a lot of questions, you need to know these also.

Transcender I would say this helped the with the practice questions but not the flash cards. The Flash card section of the training material had a lot of typos and just plain wrong information. However the practice questions were very good.

I am not getting any incentives by any of these companies.

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