NOTE: This method is no longer available (from 1st March 2019) as Microsoft discontinued supporting Web Designer in Azure portal. Microsoft is working on an alternative solution, but there is no timeframes or details to announce yet. Read more here. In the meantime, you still can import your Power BI Desktop Models to SSAS Tabular following the method described here.
A while ago I wrote a blog post on how to import you currently existing Power BI Desktop models to SSAS Tabular 2016. However, the method I explained is NOT supported by official Microsoft BI tools like SSDT, so you may consider it as a WORKAROUND only until Microsoft supports imploring Power BI models in SSDT. In this post, I show you how to import Power BI Desktop Model to SSAS Tabular 2017 using Azure Analysis Services. It is easy and hassle free.
- Power BI Desktop: Make sure you have the latest version (Current Version: 2.52.4921.581 64-bit (November 2017))
- World Wide Importers DW Sample Database : It can be any other desired database
- SQL Server 2017 Developer Edition (suitable for the purpose of this post): Install SSAS Tabular
- SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio (SSDT) 2015 or 2017
- Azure Subscription: You need to install an instance of Azure Analysis Services. Don’t worry about the costs, you can create an Azure free account with $200 credit for 30 days. Learn more here.
- In this post I do NOT explain how to install Azure Analysis Services
- This method works only for SQL Server Analysis Services 2017 Tabular
How it works
As mentioned earlier it is really easy in compare with other methods I explained in my previous post. Azure Analysis Services is capable of importing Power BI Desktop files creating a Tabular model version of your Power BI model in the cloud. Then you can simply download Visual Studio project file and redeploy it in your on-premises instance of SSAS Tabular 2017. Let’s go through the steps…
- Open Power BI Desktop
- Import data from WorldWideImportersDW from any desired combination of fact tables and dimensions. I imported
- Create some simple Measures like:
Total Sales = SUMX(‘Fact Sale’, ‘Fact Sale'[Unit Price] * ‘Fact Sale'[Quantity])
- Save your Power BI Model and close the file
- Login to your Azure PortalBrowse to your instance of Azure Analysis Services
- Click on “Open” under “Web designer—preview”
- This opens a new page for fabulous “Azure Analysis Services Web Designer”. You’re right, a web designer for tabular models. How cool is that?
- Click “Add” button under “Models” section
- Yes, you got it, enter a name for your model and click “Power BI Desktop” button
- Click “Browse” and select the Power BI file you saved earlier then click “Import”