Last day at Microsoft

Hi, today is my last day at Microsoft. I am moving back home to Vancouver, BC. I won’t be allowed to post to my MSDN blog any more, so I found a new home at You can watch there for updates.  You can also contact me through my blog and on Linked In. Cheers


The Hans Rosling project

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 on I resolved to use this data set to come…


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 a little thin, so let’s walk through the details….


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…


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) — ———————————————————- This is actually a meaningful comment. Despite having PowerPivot in the name, it is…

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 the Existing Connections button…


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….

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 else….

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…

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. True False Question 3:…