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

PowerShell Help Community Edition

  • 9 April 2012
  • Author: Robert Cain
  • Number of views: 1683

Last week when I blogged about iPowerShell from Sapien, I mentioned they had a few free community tools. One of those is PowerShell Help Community Edition.

As you can see, it provides a simple, easy to you way to navigate help in PowerShell. I find this especially nice as I often have my editor open in one window and want help files or other reference materials open in a second. Down the left is a tree which allows you to navigate to the type of object you are seeking help for. It also supports search, you can see the search results pane in the lower right.



Like iPowerShell, it uses the standard PowerShell help format, so you can add in any PowerShell help file, just as you can with iPowerShell. Best part is the price, it?s free! Just go to Sapien?s website, to the download center, and navigate to the Community Tools section. Select your flavor (32 or 64 bit).

One little quirk I was having that someone in the support forums helped me with, and this was a Windows issue not a PowerShell Help issue. I wanted to create a docked shortcut for this right in the Windows 7 task bar, but it wasn?t letting me. Turns out if you have the word Help in your file name Windows ?protects? you by not letting you add it to the task bar. I created a shortcut, renamed the shortcut to remove the e in Help from the file name, and all was well with the universe.

Categories: Blogs
Rate this article:
No rating

Robert CainRobert Cain

Other posts by Robert Cain

Please login or register to post comments.