Improving the Measure Grid in SSDT Tabular

As the name implies, the measure grid is an SSDT Tabular feature to define and manage measures, as illustrated in the following screenshot. It is available for each table when you work in Data View in Tabular Model Designer. You can toggle it on and off by using the Show Measure Grid option on the Table menu.

Old Measure Grid UI

The measure grid is not without shortcomings and receives a fair share of customer feedback. Among other things, drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste operations are currently not supported. It is also hard to locate the measure you want if your table has many measures because the grid does not sort the measures alphabetically and clips their names if the cell size is too small, which it usually is. You can increase the cell widths, but that also increases the widths of the table columns above, which is not great either. You can see the effect in the previous screenshot.

Tabular Model Explorer (TME), introduced with the August release of SSDT, helps to alleviate some of these shortcomings because TME displays all metadata objects in a sortable treeview, including measures and KPIs. We are also planning to add drag-and-drop as well as copy-and-paste operations in a future release. The measure grid, on the other hand, might not see the same improvements because we are considering to replace it in the midterm. In the meantime, however, we do want to address your valuable feedback. So, the October release of SSDT Tabular includes some very targeted improvements to deliver a more user-friendly measure grid experience. Check out the screenshot below. As you can see, the grid now adjusts the cell height and cell width automatically to avoid clipping the measure names, thus making it easier to navigate through the measures without affecting the widths of the table columns above too much.

New Measure Grid UI

Of course, this is only a small improvement, but the big question is if you’d like us to continue improving the measure grid or if you’d rather want us to replace it with a completely different and hopefully better alternative? Please don’t hesitate to let us know. We want to guide our investments in SSDT Tabular based on what will help you be the most productive and help you deliver great solutions to your customers. While it will take some time to deliver on all of the feedback and feature requests, we will make updates each month and work against the backlog in the order of priority based on your input. Your feedback is essential for making SSDT Tabular better — be it for new features, existing features, or entirely missing capabilities. So send us your suggestions on UserVoice or MSDN forums and influence the evolution of SSDT Tabular to the benefit of all our customers. Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide input and stay tuned for the upcoming monthly releases of SSDT Tabular with even more exciting improvements!