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  • Blog Post: DirectQuery impersonation options explained

    In my previous post about impersonation , I mentioned that DirectQuery impersonation was a bit tricky. That is because there is a special project property called Impersonation Settings that determines the credentials to use when connecting to the data source. The MSDN documentation of this property is...
  • Blog Post: New for RC0 – the .layout file

    If you look at my previous post on the tabular project structure , you’ll see this teaser: “There are a couple of other files in the project folder, an optional ABF file and a hidden user settings file, but I’ll talk about those another day.” The ABF file description I just put off because it was complicated...
  • Blog Post: PowerPivot measures command – no really, don’t modify it manually!

    If you look in the metadata of a BIM file, or if you look at the .dax file generated by the DAX Editor , you will see the following perplexing comment: -------------------------------------------------------- -- -- PowerPivot measures command (do not modify manually) -- ------------------------...
  • Blog Post: Least discoverable feature: importing more tables from an existing connection

    You’ve run the import wizard, and imported a bunch of tables into your tabular model. Now you want to import one more from that same connection. How do you do this? What you need is the Existing Connections dialog. To start the Existing Connections dialog, go to Model->Existing Connections or click...
  • Blog Post: Securing your tabular model

    Now that RC0 has arrived I can finally post about security for tabular models. I have put off writing about security because I think the RC0 documentation on this subject is really quite good so I don’t have too much to add. Also, we had a minor feature add for RC0 that is very exciting. You can now...
  • Blog Post: Changing your font and keyboard shortcuts in the tabular designer

    If you look carefully, you can see my roots showing. No, not my hair – you can see my old job showing. When I came to work on the Analysis Services team, we had to design an “environmentally friendly” Visual Studio package in a hurry using the Visual Studio extensibility framework , same as everybody...
  • Blog Post: Using Edit Table Properties on a partitioned tabular model

    In PowerPivot, the Edit Table Properties dialog box is used for a few things. It is used to add columns to a table, remove columns from a table, and adjust the set of rows included in the table. This works great for PowerPivot. All the data in the PowerPivot model is stored in a single partition, so...
  • Blog Post: Impersonation in tabular models

    Here is a pop quiz on impersonation when connecting to a data source for tabular models. Question 1: How many impersonation options are supported for tabular models? 2, as shown in the tabular designer 3 4, as shown in SSMS Question 2: My impersonation credentials are validated in the Import Wizard....
  • Blog Post: When to choose tabular models over PowerPivot models

    Sometimes people ask me for the slide deck to my PASS presentation . I send out the deck, but there is only one slide in there that is worth anything. This post summarizes the only useful slide in the entire deck. Let’s think about this question – why are tabular models necessary when we already have...
  • Blog Post: Making tabular models more sensitive

    Case sensitive, that is. Last year, Denny Lee posted about PowerPivot’s case insensitivity problem . Tabular models have the same insensitivity problem by default. As I mentioned in my previous post on language and collation settings , when creating a new tabular project, the collation used by default...
  • Blog Post: Collation and language settings in tabular models

    Collation and language settings are tricky; so tricky that my two planned blog posts on this topic can only scratch the surface of what goes on under the covers here. This post is a simplified overview of collation and language settings for Denali. In a future post I will show you an example of how to...
  • Blog Post: The BI semantic model, MDX, DAX, and you

    When I was at PASS I fielded a bunch of questions about the BI semantic model, multidimensional (OLAP), and tabular (VertiPaq) models. I think there is some confusion about what the BI semantic model, multidimensional, and tabular models actually are, and when precisely you can use MDX and DAX with multidimensional...
  • Blog Post: DAX Editor for SQL Server going to CodePlex

    Hi, today at my PASS session I gave a demo of a DAX Editor. This is a sample written by three testers on the Analysis Services team - Nick Medveditskov, Karen Aleksanyan, and Sergey Volegov. We will making this sample available on CodePlex as soon as we figure out how to push a magic publishing button...
  • Blog Post: Recovering your model when you can’t save the BIM file

    It is possible for the tabular designer to get into an error state. If you try to save the model, you can get this error message: “Unable to save the file Model.bim. Reason: The file cannot be saved because it is marked as readonly.” Most of the time, you see this error if the tabular designer has lost...
  • Blog Post: Configuring a workspace database server

    Marco Russo has a nice post about the basics of configuring the workspace database server . You can use his post to learn how to set the tabular instance to use for the workspace database server for new and existing projects. However, there’s more to picking a workspace database server than just picking...
  • Blog Post: Working with the ACE provider in the tabular designer

    The Office ACE provider is used to import from text files, Excel files, and Access files. Just like for any data provider, you need to install the provider on both the client side (machine with BIDS) and on the server side (both the machine running the workspace DB instance and the machine running the...
  • Blog Post: Processing tabular models 101

    With a new storage engine comes new processing options. Here are some fast facts about processing tabular models, in Q&A format. What are my processing options? The following table shows the available processing options for each object. Object Available Processing Options ...
  • Blog Post: Where does data come from when you open a BIM file?

    By default, when you open the .bim file after closing it, the data comes back. Did you ever wonder where this data comes from? It depends on a number of factors. Let’s explore. Before we begin, I want you to keep a very important point in mind. The metadata in the BIM file is always more important than...
  • Blog Post: Working with backups in the tabular designer

    We have this Data Backup property on the .bim file that by default is turned off. You may wonder why this property exists. Let us explore what it is this property does, and why it (and backups in general) are useful in the tabular designer. The Data Backup property specifies whether or not an ABF file...
  • Blog Post: Configuring multiple partitions in a DirectQuery with VertiPaq model, step by step

    In my DirectQuery 101 post, I promised an example of configuring a model with DirectQuery only partitions. Here it is. Imagine for a moment that AdventureWorks has turned into a fast moving mega-conglomerate, with transactions written to FactInternetSales all day long for years and years. Your job...
  • Blog Post: Managing tabular models

    Managing tabular models is pretty much like managing multidimensional models. We have a full array of tools available for you to use. Here is a summary. SSMS SSMS has the backup , restore , attach , detach , delete , and synchronize features that you would expect. You can also script out from SSMS, browse...
  • Blog Post: Using Integration Services with tabular models

    The astute user may notice that the Analysis Services tasks included with Integration Services in BIDS are unchanged for Denali. That is true. The good news is that you can use Integration Services with tabular models. Because the underlying structure of a tabular model is the same as the underlying...
  • Blog Post: DirectQuery 101

    DirectQuery is to tabular modeling what ROLAP is to multidimensional modeling. It’s a way to get query results from your model in real time without processing data into the model first. You can get started with DirectQuery by perusing some of our MSDN documentation on DirectQuery . Also, Edward...
  • Blog Post: Importing a subset of data using partitions, step by step

    This is a follow up to part 1 – dealing with large row sets in the tabular designer . In this post I will show how to import just a subset of your table data to get started, add partitions while you go, and then process the whole model at deployment time. I will demonstrate the technique importing via...
  • Blog Post: Dealing with large row sets in the tabular designer

    Amir Netz’s two billion and seven rows demo at last year’s BI conference was not just demoware. Unlike PowerPivot, where the amount of data you can load is bound by the workbook size , the amount of data you can load into tabular models is limited only by server capacity. This is true at...
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