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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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How to Uninstall SQL Server

  • 2 September 2011
  • Author: ShawnHarrison
  • Number of views: 33467

You would think that this would be a simple process. Unfortunately, uninstalling SQL Server is not as cut and dry as you would think. There have been situations in the past in which I had to uninstall and then reinstall SQL Server. I quickly found that opening up the control panel and selecting to uninstall the instance of SQL Server was not enough. Doing it that way also caused problems when trying to reinstall. So here is a short, step by step guide that works beautifully.

First, open up the control panel and go to ‘Uninstall a Program’. Select the Microsoft SQL Server Browser and click uninstall.

Program Uninstall


Next, select Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (R2 in my case) and click uninstall. This will remove the SQL Server instance and all the extra components. 

Uninstalling the Instance


There is still one more thing to complete the uninstall. Even though the instance is gone, all the database files are still in the program files directory. This will cause issues when you try to reinstall. Go into the program files, find the Microsoft SQL Server folder and delete it. 

Program Files


At this point, you have removed all traces of SQL Server. You can easily reinstall it with no issues. 

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