Power BI July 2020 Mini Blog – Launch External Tools

This is part of the Semantic modelling for Power BI Programme and its a big one. Very exciting

The first thing you should see is External Tools on your ribbon (Making sure you are on the Jusy 2020 release of Desktop)

In the first instance, this doesn’t appear to be avilable. Why is this missing?

This is because you may not have the latest releases of the External tools.

These tools are:

  • ALM toolkit
  • DAX Studio
  • Tabular Editor

Currently, I only have DAX Studio but this isnt enough to give me the External tools Menu item? Whats going on?

DAX Studio

My Current release is

Going to DAX studio there is a new version

https://daxstudio.org/

this is the release you need for Power BI. Click on the installer to download the new release (Power BI Has been closed down during this process)

Do you want to run this file? Click Run

Once installed open up Power BI

External Tools is now an option

However DAX Studio is greyed out

go into Preview Features and make sure Store datasets using enhanced metadata format is turned on.

Check the External Tools Folder

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Power BI Desktop\External Tools

I now have the DAX Studio JSON file in the External tools folder

ALM Toolkit

http://alm-toolkit.com/

After installing, take another look at your external template Folder

Tabular Editor

https://tabulareditor.com/

Again, a new JSON file is added to the folder

So now we have all three tools connected into Power BI. Lets have a look at what they can do for you. the following is a few basics from each tool

DAX Studio

With a Power BI pbix file open. go to External tools and click on DAX Studio. It will automatically connect to the data set you have open

Go to Advanced and View metrics

This is a great way of using the Vertipaq Analyser to look at Tables, Columns, relationships, partitions and a Summary of your data model

You get to see which items have low and high cardinality. What items are taking up too much space in your model and really helps you get a feel for what you can do to make your model better

ALM Toolkit

The ALM toolkit comes from the Analysis Services space. Due to Power BI encompassing an Enterprise architecture along with self service, we can now start to use these community tools with Power BI datasets.

Its a schema comparison tool for your datasets.

Use it many scenarios such as incremental Refreshing, metadata only deployment (Now available for Premium and Pro)

This is another big hitter and requires a much more in depth look

Tabular Editor

Again, tabular Editor will connect to the tabular database you have open within your pbix file.

This is an excellent tool to help with quickly modifying tabular models.

If you do anything in here, like add measures into a folder, you will see the change straight away in Power BI Desktop.

You can also test and create measures in here which can offer a much easier way to do this than within power BI Desktop.

basically, using this tool you can automate some of the more tedious tasks and save lots of time.

Like DAX Studio. You can also analyse your entire model to get a feel any improvements you can make.

There are some great videos out there on how to make the most out of this tool and if you use Power BI heavily this is a must have.

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