Tag: Tabular

Connect Suggestion: SSAS Tabular Images In Azure VM Gallery

Greetings, noble readers.

Currently, when utilizing the SQL Server images in the VM Gallery in Azure, any installations of SQL Server Analysis Services default to Multidimensional. Thus, if you want SSAS Tabular, you have additional work to perform.

I was just chatting with a Senior Program Manager on the SQL Server Analysis Services product team. They currently don’t have anything in their plans for providing SQL Server Gallery Images with SSAS Tabular instead of Multidimensional. We agreed that it is a good idea for that to happen. We also agreed that a Connect suggestion would be a great way to gauge broader community support/appetite for providing Gallery images with Tabular installed.

<insert fanfare and trumpets and stuff>

Below is the link to the suggestion I made on Connect.Microsoft.com. If you agree that having SQL Server Images in the Azure VM Gallery with SSAS Tabular already installed would be a good thing, please vote up the suggestion as it will help the Product Team to justify the effort it would take to do so. If you don’t have strong feelings either way, please vote it up for those of us that do. Smile

Provide SQL Server Image in Azure VM Gallery With SSAS Tabular Installed

Your participation in this endeavor is much appreciated.

Thank you for your support.

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?


Technical Article: Report Model (SMDL) Alternatives in SQL Server 2012

It is with tremendous joy that I announce the release of my very first Technical Article! Click the image below to get a copy of your very own.


When I first started in the SQL Server business with Digineer about 6.5 years ago, one of my earliest projects was implementing a SQL Server 2005 Report Model for a client. Lara Rubbelke (Blog|Twitter), who led Digineer’s Information Management (SQL Server) Team at the time, set me up with that project along with some top cover from the mighty Jason Strate (Blog|Twitter). With two great mentors like I was lucky enough to have, that project set the stage for my career in SQL Server. It was during that project that I came to firmly believe in empowering end users in a managed environment. In the next few years, I ended up working on several Report Models for clients and giving well attended Intro To Report Model presentations.

Upon discovering that SQL Server 2012 meant the beginning of the end for Report Models, I was concerned for the folks that had been investing in them since their release. I saw forum posts that expressed frustration at their demise since many organizations had come to rely on them. It was clear that there were some technologies available that were superior to Report Models that could make great replacements in different scenarios. I looked for a source that combined all that information into a single location to help ease the transition of Report Models to other alternatives in the Microsoft BI stack. Since I could not find one, I decided I should go ahead and make one. Behold!

I want to thank Lara and Jason for their mentorship at the beginning of my career and through today. I also want to thank my great Technical Reviewers for this article:

Jin Cho (LinkedIn) – Microsoft

Mike Donnelly (Blog|Twitter) – Digineer

Aaron Drinkwine – Digineer

Chris Fish (Twitter) – Digineer

I need to thank Digineer for their continued support and being an awesome place to call home.

SSAS 2012 Tabular CONNECT Digest – VOTE PLEASE

A while back, I had the opportunity to implement an SSAS 2012 Tabular Model for a client. While I am really excited about the technology itself, I did find some challenges with the development environment in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), the SQL 2012 successor to Business Intelligence Development Studio. This post is a quick list of a few suggestions for Microsoft that have been posted to Connect.

Allow Marking a Table as Date Table in Diagram View

This one is not that huge a deal, to be honest. But, it did eat up some time. Like a stereotypical “guy,” I wanted to try to figure it out on my own before asking for directions… As it turns out, currently in SSDT, you must be in the Grid View of your Tabular model to mark a table as a Date table. It seems strange to me that you cannot perform this action from Diagram View. It seems like a silly limitation to me since it is not very intuitive.

If you think this would be worthwhile to fix, please vote up this Suggestion.

Allow Changing Many Column Names At Once

Tabular models are meant for business user consumption. Thus, friendly column names are important. With SSAS Multidimensional, you can make many changes to your project and afterward deploy them all at once. With SSAS Tabular, you are always working with a live Tabular model residing in your workspace database. As you make a change, the model in the workspace database is updated. While this makes it easy for you to play with your model via Analyze in Excel functionality, it means that tedious changes like changing column names to be more friendly can be a total pain in the office.

If you would like SSDT to allow for changing multiple columns names at once and then making the model update AFTER all of those changes instead of each one, please vote up this Suggestion. Note, there is a workaround on that item that was provided by Microsoft Program Manager Kasper De Jonge (b|t).

Campaign For PowerPivot/Tabular Textual Modeling Language

This one comes from Marco Russo (b|t). I am at Tech Ed North America in New Orleans this week. After the excellent DAX PreCon given by Marco and Alberto Ferrari (b|t), I was chatting with them a bit about my own experiences with Tabular. Marco asked what I thought about trying to get a human-usable textual scripting language for Tabular. I was totally on board with that. Marco release this blog post to start this ball rolling. Marco makes some excellent points in this post, which I will not reiterate here. Please read that post.

If you agree that a textual DDL style language for Tabular would be way helpful, or you just want to build up great karma by helping out Tabular developers, please vote up this Suggestion Marco created.

This suggestion by Marco, in my opinion, is way more important than my suggestions related to the GUI of SSDT. A scripting language would be AWESOME here.