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

Task Factory: Email Source and Delete Email Task

  • 3 September 2011
  • Author: briankmcdonald
  • Number of views: 630

Task Factory is a software product created by Pragmatic Works. It provides many custom SSIS components which help developers creating SSIS packages become more efficient. And as we all know, when we are more efficient, we are more productive. In this nugget, I’m going to show you how to use the Email Source and Delete Email task to search through and remove emails from an email server.

Here are the key features and details from about this task:

  • Reads email from a mailbox into a data flow
  • Supports IMAP/POP3
  • Support most email providers (including GMAIL)
  • There is full support for filtering messages based on sender, message to, subject, date received, body and priority.

Check out this quick video to find out more.

More Videos in this Series:

And if you don’t already, please be sure to follow me on twitter at @briankmcdonald. Also note that you can subscribe to an RSS feed of my blogs or find me on LinkedIn, SQLBIGeek, SQLServerCentral or SQLServerPedia.

sqlbigeek brian k mcdonald


Categories: Blogs
Rate this article:
No rating


Other posts by briankmcdonald

Please login or register to post comments.