Business Intelligence Blogs

View blogs by industry experts on topics such as SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, Power BI, Performance Tuning, Azure, Big Data and much more! You can also sign up to post your own business intelligence blog.

«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

Read more

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
Read more

SQL Server Reporting Services R2 - Publishing Report Parts

SQL Server Reporting Services R2 – Publishing Report Parts

SQL Server Reporting Services R2 (SSRS) allows report developers to not only publish reports and data sources to the report server, but now they have the ability to publish report parts.  You can publish parts of a report, such as charts, tables, logos, etc…  In addition to the report part, any data set and/or parameter that the part depends on accompanies it as metadata.   End-users will have the ability, using Report Builder 3.0, to create reports based on the published Report Parts.  So, how do you publish the report parts?

First, create  a report that contains a few charts, tables and maybe an image.  Similar to the following:


Each item on the report, the five charts and the logo, can be published to the report server as a report part.  Ensure that you give each part that you plan on publishing a descriptive and meaningful name.  Once that is done, select Report from the menu bar and select Publish Report Parts.  The following screen will appear:


Then select the checkbox next to each item that you want to publish as a report part and click OK.  The next time you deploy your report project each selected item will be published to the report server.  Finally, prior to deploying the report parts, you can specify the location where these items will be deployed.  Right-click on the project in the solution explorer and select Properties:


Under the deployment section in the row labeled TargetReportPartFolder, you can specify the location where you want to deploy the report parts.  Your end-users can now connect to the report server and use these report parts in their reports.  I will explain how they do this in my next blog post.

Talk to you soon,

Patrick LeBlanc, MCTS

Founder and

Visit, Bring Business Intelligence to your company.

Rate this article:

PatrickLeBlanc PatrickLeBlanc

Other posts by PatrickLeBlanc

Please login or register to post comments.