Update July 2020: While this method still works with Power BI Desktop June 2017 release and SSAS 2017, it potentially doesn’t work with the later versions of Power BI Desktop (Jul 2020) and SSAS 2019 as there are new DAX functions that are available in the Power BI Desktop but not in SSAS 2019. So use this method as an experimental method AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Have you created a robust model in Power BI Desktop and you are looking for a way to import it to an instance of SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular? Hmm, it would be highly beneficial if you could import Power BI model to SSAS Tabular and it potentially saves lots of development time and costs. The good news is that with SQL Server 2016 and SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio 2015 it is possible. In this post I show you how to import Power BI Desktop model to SSAS Tabular 2016. Unfortunately, you cannot do the job in any prior versions of SQL Server, SQL Server Management Studio or SSDT.
- SQL Server 2016 Tabular: You can download SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition for free. Check this out for more information
- SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2016: Down SSMS 2016 from here
- SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio 2015 (SSDT 2015): You can download it here
- Power BI Desktop: Download Power BI Desktop from here
How it works?
The idea is to
- Connect to Power BI Desktop model from SSMS 2016
- Script the model
- Modify the script
- Execute the scripts on your on-premises instance of SSAS Tabular 2016
- Open the new SSAS Tabular database in SSDT 2016
- Modify the model
- Redeploy and process the model
Note: Do not close Power BI Desktop until we completely import the model to SSAS Tabular.
- You’re familiar with all required tools listed above
- You’re familiar with SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular models and any corresponding concepts, security settings and so forth
- You’re familiar with DAX and Power Query