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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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Connecting to DB2 using SSIS

To start, first download and install the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for DB2. Click here to download. After it is installed I suggest rebooting your machine. In some cases a reboot is not required; however I have encountered problems without rebooting.

Next open an SSIS project and create a new data source. On the Connection Manager screen select Microsoft OLE DB Provider for DB2 from the drop down list labeled Provider. In the text box labeled Server or file name enter the IP address of your server. Then select the radio button labeled Use a specific user name and password. Enter you user name and password and select the checkbox labeled allow saving password if you want to persist those values. Then enter you database name in the drop down list labeled Initial Catalog.


Now you must click the button labeled Data Links. The Data Source, User Name and Initial Catalog textboxes should be populated. You will only need to enter values for the textboxes labeled Package Collection and Default Schema. Enter your database schema in both textboxes.


Then click on the Advanced tab and check the box labeled Process binary as character.  To understand why you need to do this please read, How to Retrieve IBM AS 400 /JD Edwards “for bit data” via SSIS, by Alberto Munera.


Now click on the ellipses next to the Network drop down list and enter your IP address in the textbox labeled IP Address.


Click Ok twice and you will be returned to the Connection Manager Screen. Click the button labeled Test Connection to verify that your settings are correct. Now that you have a successful connection to your DB2 database click OK and the data source is ready to use. I have to give credit to my colleagues at TBC for assisting me in putting this document together, thanks Roberto and Chad.

Talk to you soon,

Patrick LeBlanc, MCTS

Founder and

Visit, Bring Business Intelligence to your company.

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