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Normally, I write about updates in the Power BI universe quite rarely, and when I do, it’s only when it’s a significant improvement from my perspective. So it is in this case.Last week, Microsoft introduced in Preview the ability to access Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services via DirectQuery. What doesn’t sound all that spectacular could actually be Power BI’s next big unique selling point!

Combination of multiple Power BI datasets and flat files

But what exactly are the new possibilities of the new composite model and what does that mean in real life? So far we have been able to connect “live” to multiplerelational databases. Once we connected to a Power BI dataset, there was only the option to connect to a single dataset.

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Today I’ m going to write a post that doesn’t directly have anything to do with Power BI, but still adds a lot of value there. For about a year now, I’ve been using Microsoft PowerToys, a combination of different tools that make your life easier.

Original idea, FancyZones to divide the screen into different areas

Actually, I came across PowerToys when I was looking for a tool that can divide my wide-screen monitor into different areas. I tested a few tools and ended up with FancyZones from the PowerToys Suite. From my point of view, it works the best of all tools and at the same time it is also free of charge.

However, what I use the most after trying out

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Measures are the best way to calculate your key figures in Power BI. In a matrix, however, these can normally only be displayed as values and not at row or column level. However, sometimes you need them exactly at the row level.

Display contribution margin calculation at row level

An example I came across recently was the presentation of a contribution margin calculation. I already apologize if the English terms are not translated correctly, my original calculation was in German ? . The individual items should be displayed below each other at row level. The default view, when displaying only the Measures, is horizontally aligned:

Standard display of measures in matrix in Power BI

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I recently received a tip from a colleague at work, which was also something I hadn’t seen before. More precisely, it was about integrating a Power BI report with all reporting options into a OneNote page.

For this purpose, I use the report with the manual fonts as an example. The report has to be shared on Power BI Services (powerbi.com) via Share –> Embed report –> Publish to web (public):

Report can be shared via Publish to web.
Report can be shared via Publish to web.

Warning: When sharing via “Publish to

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If you find a date or datetime format in UNIX format, the first thing you wonder is what it is all about or how you can display it “normally”. This is because the UNIX date format looks like this:

1604135115

What exactly is UNIX Timestamp?

To find a way to convert this, we first need to understand what the number means. The UNIX timestamp is the number of seconds since January 01, 1970. You can read exactly about why it is like this in the Wikipedia article. I want to focus on finding a

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For a while, it was only possible to provide a Power BI report in multiple languages using workarounds. Recently, the enhanced dataset metadata has made it very easy to change the language of a report in Power BI, making it multilingual, for example in German and English. Since the Power BI September Update, the enhanced dataset metadata is now the standard for metadata, upgrading a Power BI report almost to the level of an SSAS Tabular Model.

Enhanced dataset metadata enables SSAS Tabular functionalities

One of these new capabilities is to offer the data model of each Power BI report in multiple languages.

The easiest way to maintain multiple languages is currently using

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Many companies are trying to achieve a consistent appearance and have corresponding or Corporate Identity / Corporate Design (CI/CD) guidelines.

As a reporting platform, Power BI should of course be no exception and fit into the corresponding specifications. However, this is often a big question mark, because at first glance there is no option to add additional fonts in Power BI. There is only a selection of standard fonts to choose from:

Standard Fonts in Power BI
Standard Fonts in Power BI

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When you often work in different IT environments, you can easily reach the point where a customer is working with a different Power BI desktop version than the latest one. As a developer this can become a problem, because the PBIX files are generally not backward compatible to older Power BI versions. As a result, the completed work may not even be accessible to the customer.

Why the download from the Power BI Blog does not work

In the past I used to google for the wanted release article in the Power BI Blog and then download the file there. Unfortunately, this approach no longer works, as the links now all point to the latest release. This may be good for end users, but as soon

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In my first blog post, I briefly mentioned that my digital notebook – in the form of OneNote – is well filled with plenty of notes and approaches that I want to share here on the blog.

One category is DAX and M code snippets, which I use regularly. For example, creating a date or time table or creating ID columns from a date and other similar things. Simply approaches that you need again and again, and give you a bit of a headache every time you have to rethink them again.

So I came to the decision that I share them here on the blog as well. For this purpose I have created a separate page with all

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If you want to combine several tables, you have to ask yourself whether you should do this already in the data source such as SQL Server, in the processing of the data (ETL) in Power Query or in Power BI and, above all, where exactly there is a difference.

First of all, the post is relatively detailed, for all of those who consider it too long (tl;dr) here is the comparison table:

Duplicate entries remainDuplicate entries are removedUnequal number of columnsDeviating column namesDifferent order of the columnsCombine more than 2 tables
UNION in SQL ServerWith UNION ALLWith UNIONxx
APPEND in Power QueryxPossible with “Remove duplicates”xxx
UNION in DAXxPossible with “DISTINCT”xx
Overview of the different possible combinations

Data transformation in the data source or in the frontend?

A question that