Survey: Changing Model.bim Filename In SSAS Tabular Projects

I am working for a client that has several Tabular models and are developing more. Even thought the process of developing Tabular models in SSDT could use some improvement, I am happy to see this exciting technology being adopted.

I noticed that the models here are pretty much all called Model.bim in the project. I have typically renamed mine to provide better context and never encountered an issue. My thinking was based on the multi-dimensional world in which a Cube called Cube is pretty ambiguous as to what information it contains. Likewise, a table called Table or a database called Database. Those examples are a little different, though, since a tabular project can only contain ONE .bim file at the moment.

William Weber (Blog|Twitter), with whom I am working on this project, pointed out that Books Online indicates that the name of the bim file should not be changed:


There is so little detail here as to make me question what could happen. I reached out in general on Twitter and no one seemed to have a good explanation. Today I asked SSAS Program Manager Kasper de Jonge (Blog|Twitter) directly. Kasper knew of no specific issue, either, and suggested it was probably just not tested. Fair enough.

Although, there does seem to be some gray area here. With this post, my hope is that we can eliminate some of the gray and provide better clarity around this for all of us. I would appreciate responses to this in comments.

1. Do you rename your Model.bim file and why/why not?

2. If you do rename it, have you had issues as a result? If so, what issues?


Categories: SSAS, Survey, Tabular

Tagged as: , ,

7 replies »

  1. 1. Typically not, doesn’t really do anything. For our Power View book, the bim file was renamed. But has no real meaning or purose. The thing that does make sense is updating the deployment settings and providing meaningful name to the database and cube file (just like multidimensional). So you don’t need to leave the cube name as Model, you can provide meaningful context to that in a Tabular model (but not a Power Pivot one).

    2. No issues renaming it the file, really doesn’t do anything that I am aware of.


  2. 1. I read the article on Books Online that told me not to, so I didn’t because I assumed Bad Things™ would happen. I only have one tabular model per database, so I just make sure the database is named appropriately/intuitively.


    • Hi, Kevin. I must confess that I have never seen the behavior you are reporting. But I have also not done Tabular in VS 2013 tools. Thanks for sharing this as it is clearly something to watch out for. Also, if you have not already done so, please make sure to report this on as it is something to make sure folks are aware of.


  3. Hey Mark – after having several bugs go for years without even being acknowledged on connect, I don’t bother with filing them there any more.


  4. I just did that change name on the Model.Bim file and TFS went crazy, I needed to make some modifications on Windows Explorer level, and then TFS somehow came back to “normal”; I have not read the Books Online suggestion for not renaming this file, so I think I will go by that premise now. Thanks for sharing..