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Share your thoughts on DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview)

Hit Reply and let us know what you think of the DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services.  To learn more about this feature, please visit this blog post or our documentation.


Here are some areas that we'd like to hear about in particular:

  • Performance
  • Query editor experience--the remote model query doesn't show up in the query editor and only in the data source settings dialog. What are your thoughts?
  • Navigator experience
  • Thoughts around governance and permissions for models that leverage this feature
  • Nesting models, i.e. building a composite model on top of a composite model
  • Automatic page refresh for live connect in composite models

Thanks and we look forward to hearing your feedback!


- The Power BI Modeling Team

438 REPLIES 438
Helper I
Helper I

Ok, got it.

Yes that would give a strange model - exactly what I try to point out in my BLOG, that design will get even more important, what to join, how to join, which data to use...

Helper I
Helper I


A great innovation long awaited.
But also a risk, as even on perfect designed models and small dataset it gives weired queries with 3.000 lines or even 50.000 lines of DAX!!!
Read this:


“Composite” arrived - CAUTION! 



Frequent Visitor

Hello. I have a use case for needing more than 3 chain lengths for direct query to AS. Our Operations department uses multiple applications in their day to day activities. We have a data warehouse where we have slowly connected most of these applications and modeled their data according to our processes for easy reporting. We still have some applications not yet added to our data warehouse and some data sources which will never be added to our DWH so we have utilized data flows to access these data sources. We have created about 4 certified datasets for the data from these applications connected to our DWH and shared these within our organization for employess to use if they desire. Now our Operations department wants a set of KPIs in a single report based on data from all of the various applications they use. Up to now, we have had to develop a single BIG dataset containing the same tables from all of the certified dataset plus the data from the above mentioned data flows. This is so we could create the single report with multiple bookmarks, buttons, and slicers. This BIG dataset has been a nightmare to maintain (over 100 measures, over 60 tables) and we would much rather compartmentalize the data into these smaller certified dataset which would be easier to maintain and manage changes. I attempted to create the same BIG model using the new DQ for AS feature but since it contained 4 datasets and about 15 dataflow tables, it would not publish to the service. Please @tessahurr increase the maximum number of chains!

We are in a similar situation. We have one large dataset in order to support cross-departmental reports. However, this leads to difficulties with refresh scenarios.


Preferably, we could have process specific data-marts that refresh individually and could be joined together in a composite model when needed. Better still would be if those marts could be fed by dataflows. However, in this scenario, we would have already used up most/all of the chain before the user ever gets to it.

thanks for sharing your use case, this is great input!


For those that might have missed it:

Update December 18th 2020: we have just released Power BI Desktop version 2.88.702.0 which fixes the two most common issues we have seen being reported:

  • As part of this feature, significant changes were made to the authentication flow for live connections to Analysis Services which applies even when you do not have this preview feature enabled in Power BI Desktop. Users were not able to recover from entering incorrect credentials or selecting the incorrect credential type and would see error messages such as 'Unable to connect'. You can now either select 'Retry' or use the Data Source Settings dialog to update your credentials.
  • Converting from a model that is live connected to a DirectQuery model failed if the model contained a measure-only table and the following error message was displayed: 'The given key was not present in the dictionary'.
Frequent Visitor

Thank you, I think thats it. I was connecting to a dataset in "My Workspace" which I see isn't supported. Next error is this "An error occurred while loading the model. Verify that the connection information is correct and that you have permissions to access the data source.". The dataset I am trying to connect to uses Import from an AWS Redshift datasource and is refreshed via the Gateway.

Frequent Visitor

Hitting the same wall with the "An error occurred while loading the model. Verify that the connection information is correct and that you have permissions to access the data source." message, also have AWS Redshift as a data source on the published PBI files.

Were you able to resolve it?


@jeroenterheerdt we are also still getting this error (just loaded the latest PBI version today too). I even tried publishing a dataset to the Power BI Service that is loading a very simple excel file and am still get this error when trying to Live Connect to it and then add a local model. Is this still due to the deployment delays, or do you have any additional thoughts on what might be going on? Thank you for any assistance!





Hi @MBonnett - deployment should be done now (except China). So try it again and if it still doesn't work, let me know.

Hi @jeroenterheerdt , we are unfortunately still running into the below connection errors. This is when trying to connect to any dataset, including a test dataset that has very little data loaded (from Excel). The error comes when we try to add the local model, or try to take a local model and add a live dataset connection (@Zarek  seems to be having these issues as well). I have the latest Power BI Desktop Version: 2.88.721.0


When trying to add a local model after establishing the live connection:

An error occurred while loading the model. Verify that the connection information is correct and that you have permissions to access the data source.


When we make the local model first and then try to add the live dataset connection we then get this error:

Cannot load model

We couldn't connect to your Analysis Services database. Double check that your server and database names are correct, and make sure you have permission to access them.

Bad Request
Technical Details:
RootActivityId: 8d8dba2e-4c1a-4f50-a68e-b0375e4bac61
Date (UTC): 12/21/2020 7:58:11 PM


There is details log I can send you if you would like, too. Thank you for the help on this, my team is very excited to try out this functionality!!

Frequent Visitor

Hi @jeroenterheerdt 

I'm getting the same errors as above (An error occurred while loading the model. Verify that the connection information is correct and that you have permissions to access the data source.) and assume it shouldn't be a deployment issue now - has there been any updates on this error? My colleague gets the same, we both tried connecting to datasets in premium workspaces

can you please open a support case for this? If you can't let me know and we figure something out.

Hi @jeroenterheerdt@MBonnett@jane01,


was the issue resolved with helping of the support ticket? We still have the same issue in our org.


Thank you for an update.

Frequent Visitor

Hi @soldous - yes they did get to the bottom of it! For our org this was fixed by enabling the tenant setting (we only did this for specific users): Allow XMLA endpoints and Analyze in Excel with on-premises datasets 

Frequent Visitor

This is the feature we are been waiting for for literally years, thank you! However, it doesn't seem to work, does something need to be enabled on our tenant?


Specifically I have enabled the preview feature, restarted Power BI desktop and connected to one of my Power BI datasets (in fact a few of them) but all the options to import data are greyed out as it always used to be. I also don't see the "make changes to this model" link in the bottom right as described in the video. A colleague of mine has also tried but the same thing.

@frostystoo Not all models are supported (for example SSAS, even if published to the PBI Service). Can you make sure your dataset is supported by checking the limitations section here: DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview) | Microsoft Power BI Blog | ...

If you believe it should be, please share some additional details/screenshots to help us identify the problem.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi @tessahurr 


First of all thanks for this amazing future, I have seen the demo ( during MBAS 2020... I think ) and was waiting for the preview with anticipation.

I do have a few questions I hope you will be able to answer: 

While connecting to two datasets Sales and Order ( both star schemas ) and both datasets/models contains the same dimension Product: 

  • How do I remove one of these dimensions?
  • Will it make a difference in performance if I build relationships between two different datasets ( Product from Sales dataset  filtering Orders fact from orders dataset )
  • Will you be able to merge dimensions if identical?
  • Will this stay as Pro or will this be a premium only future when generally available?


Many Thanks 


1. Can you give more info on the data sources you are connected to for Product and Product 2?

2. I don't believe so, but perhaps @jeroenterheerdt can help answer your question about performance.

3. This is an interesting idea. We don't allowe for that right now, but can you describe a bit more about your expected behavior?

4. When this feature is GA it will be available for both shared and premium.



I have the same question as Mariusz, and I think it gets at architectural issues that Power BI has with conformed dimensions. It's never been clear to me the best way to handle them as there is no concept of shared dimensions like there used to be in SSAS MD.


If there's two models, both with a copy of the same Product dimension and those two models are "composited" together, you're going to have two Product dimensions. How do you get the two models to work together across this dimension? Can you remove one? Can you link them together somehow? It seems to me that each model may contain its own measures with references to its own Product dimension. How do we keep these working?

conforming dimensions is something we are still working on.

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