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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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Looping Through Variable Values with a ForEach Loop Container

  • 16 August 2013
  • Author: ShawnHarrison
  • Number of views: 32181

Have you ever done something in SSIS that you wish you had a need to do more often? That happens to me on occasion. I have a tendency to test out random scenarios when I get bored. You read correctly, I play with SSIS when I am bored. Between my PS3 and SSIS, my Saturday nights are insane!


This is a little tutorial on looping through variable values; one of the little things that will make you feel rather awesome.


The first thing I am going to do is drag an execute SQL task into this empty SSIS package, and pull in some email addresses from table in the AdventureWorks2012 database. Create a connection manager and be sure to set the 'Result Set' property to 'Full Result Set'.



Click 'Result Set' on the left side of the window.



Click the 'Add' button at the bottom of the window. This is how you will assign a variable to contain the results return by a query. It creates a default entry called 'NewResultName'.



Change the result name to 0. In the 'Variable Name' field, select . This opens the 'Add Variable' window. Enter a name for the variable (for example, objEmailAddress). In the 'Value Type' drop down list, select object. Click OK.



Use this as your SQL statement?

   1: Select emailaddress
   2: from person.EmailAddress
   3: where EmailAddressID between 10 and 20


Click OK again to close out the task editor.


Now, I need a variable that will hold each individual email address. Open the variables window and click the new variable icon.



It creates a default variable called 'Variable1'. Click on the name and change it to strToAddress. In the data type drop down list, choose 'String'. Don?t worry about the value for now.



Now, add a ForEach Loop container and connect the execute SQL task to it. Drag in a script task and drop it in the container.



Double click the container to open the editor.  Click 'Collection' on the left side of the window and in the 'Enumerator' drop down list, select 'Foreach ADO Enumerator'. For the 'ADO object source variable' selection, choose the object variable that contains the result set. In my example, it's objEmailAddress.



On the left side of the window, click 'Variable Mappings'. In the 'Variable field', open the drop down list and select the string variable. Mine is called strToAddress. The index is set to 0 by default. Leave that as is. Click OK to close the editor.



Open the script task. The language I am using for this is Visual C#. In the 'ReadOnlyVariables' field, click the ellipses to open the variables list. Select the check box next to the string variable (strToAddress) and click OK.



Toward the bottom of the window, click 'Edit Script'. This is where the fun starts. I will add a script that displays a message box that shows the value of the strToAddress variable. Toward the bottom of the editor, you will see a comment that reads //TODO: Add your code here. This, of course, is where we will add the code. Enter the following code?

   1: MessageBox.Show(Dts.Variables["strToAddress"].Value.ToString());


Close out of the editor. This will compile the script for you and takes you back to the script task editor. Click OK to close it.


Now, execute the package, sit back and watch the magic. The Execute SQL task retrieves all the email addresses and stores them in 'objEmailAddress'. The ForEach loop container reads through the values stored in that variable and rights the first one into 'strToAddress'. The script task displays the current value of 'strToAddress' and then the loop starts again. This continues to the end of the result set.


The script is a way to test to make sure it is working properly. I can replace that with another task such as a send mail task to send emails to each address.




Sometimes, I like to think so?

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