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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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Report Builder: Change Report Server Connection

A question that I have been asked quite often is, “How can I change the Report Server that I am connected to in Report Builder?” I never really thought about it until then. To change the connection click the Disconnect link located at the bottom of the Report Builder Designer:

Once you click it you will be allowed to re-connect using the Connect link:

You will then be presented with the Connect to Report Server dialogue window:

In dropdown list labeled Report server type the URL of the Report Server of choice. Click Connect, and you will be connected to that report server.

Additionally, if you would like to set a default Report Server or SharePoint site that you would click on the SQL Server icon on the top left corner of the Report Builder Application:

Then click the Options button located at the bottom of the menu that appears. You will then be presented with Report Builder Options dialogue window:

Enter the Report Server URL or SharePoint site that you want to set as your default in the textbox labeled Use this report server or SharePoint site by default
and click OK. The next time you open the Report Builder application you will automatically connect to that site.

Talk to you soon,

Patrick LeBlanc

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