Posts
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Processing tabular models 101

    • 2 Comments
    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. ...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    When to choose tabular models over PowerPivot models

    • 2 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    The BI semantic model, MDX, DAX, and you

    • 3 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Implementing a custom expression editor

    • 9 Comments
    I’ve seen a few forum posts about providing a richer expression editing experience in a rehosted workflow designer. There are two main scenarios in which you would want to implement your own expression editor: Work around the rather unfortunate...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    ExpressionTextBox 101

    • 8 Comments
    The ExpressionTextBox is the basic building block for editing expressions in custom activity designers. If you’re writing a custom activity designer that uses expressions, you’ll use this control. This post is meant to provide an overview for custom activity...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    The Hans Rosling project

    • 3 Comments
    About a year ago, I read a profile about Hans Rosling in the Economist magazine . Apparently I had been living under a rock, as I had never seen his data visualizations before. Pretty impressive: Rosling made sure all his information was put up publically...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Dealing with large row sets in the tabular designer

    • 0 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    DAX Editor for SQL Server going to CodePlex

    • 6 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Managing tabular models

    • 3 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Using an ExpressionTextBox in a custom property editor

    • 1 Comments
    I have fielded a couple of questions from customers and also a forum post asking how to get the binding correct for the ExpressionTextBox correct in the property grid (well Eric fielded that one with some help on our side, thanks Eric!). For the record...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Configuring a workspace database server

    • 1 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    About type coercion

    • 0 Comments
    The hosted compiler does something called type coercion. It converts one type to another type using the widening and narrowing conversions specified by the big VB compiler. On the whole, this is very useful functionality. It allows you to strongly type...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Securing your tabular model

    • 0 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Pointing PowerPivot pivot tables to tabular models

    • 1 Comments
    After you import or restore from PowerPivot , you are left with a workbook with pivot tables and slicers to point to the PowerPivot model. The next logical step in the import/restore process is to re-point these objects to your new tabular model. How...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Managing tabular models using PowerShell

    • 2 Comments
    As I mentioned in my previous post on deploying tabular models using msbuild , we now have AMO for PowerShell support. Unfortunately, the documentation for the AS PowerShell cmdlets didn’t make it into TechNet or into the product for CTP3, so they are...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    What does Import from PowerPivot actually do?

    • 0 Comments
    We have two pieces of functionality in Denali that allow you to promote a self-service model in PowerPivot (v1 or v2) to a tabular model. One is i mport from PowerPivot , where you create a new tabular modeling project from a pre-existing PowerPivot workbook...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    DirectQuery 101

    • 1 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Tabular Designer Architecture

    • 0 Comments
    In my post for tabular projects on the Analysis Services team blog , I gave a high-level overview of what tabular modeling is all about. That post gives a basic overview of how to get started writing models to be deployed to the VertiPaq engine. But how...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Deploying tabular projects using a custom msbuild task

    • 2 Comments
    I have received a few questions from customers about how to build and deploy Analysis Services projects in an unattended way, for integration into an automated build process. The stock reply is a multi-step solution, where you build from command line...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Using Integration Services with tabular models

    • 0 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Changing your font and keyboard shortcuts in the tabular designer

    • 0 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Where does data come from when you open a BIM file?

    • 0 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Recovering from cryptic errors thrown when importing from PowerPivot

    • 0 Comments
    Sometimes people get an error message about “Access is Denied” when trying to import from a PowerPivot workbook and are perplexed by its cause. The user can open the PowerPivot workbook locally, but import fails with an error like this: Here is the root...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Recovering your model when you can’t save the BIM file

    • 7 Comments
    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...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Tabular project structure

    • 0 Comments
    Tabular projects have a very simple structure. When you create a tabular project, you see two files in the Solution Explorer: TabularProject1.smproj and Model.bim. You are allowed only one .bim file per .smproj. Although you can sidecar whatever other...
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