Converting a PowerPivot workbook w/ PowerQuery connections into SSAS Tabular

No, SSAS Tabular mode don’t support PowerQuery connections… (yet… But I’am confident that will be in the future)

But I was happy to verify that it’s very easy to change the connection and point into another table in a supported provider (ex: a SQL Server DW).

It’s true that you will loose all the transformations made in powerquery, but in the scenario that we are converting a self-service BI model made in Excel into a more enterprise level BI application where the transformations need to be made by a more “professional” ETL tool like SSIS tool, it’s good to know that it’s possible to convert the connection very easily.

PS – This is not the same history with Linked Tables in PowerPivot, when converting into a tabular database those tables will end up as Pasted Tables which are very hard to update, so stay away from Linked Tables… As an alternative I find preferable to create a powerquery into the Excel table and then load into the model.

Start converting the powerpivot workbook into a SSAS Tabular project:

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Then go to Model –> Existing Connections, and you’ll find all your PowerQuery connections:

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Try to process one of them, and you’ll get this error:

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Now you need for each PowerQuery connection to change the connection provider into a supported one and point into a object that has the same name and schema (if it doesn’t have the same schema/name you will have to change the table partition query).

In this case I have a table named “Employee” with these columns:

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Create a table in your datawarehouse with the same name and schema:

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Edit the “PowerQuery – Employees” connection and change the provider:

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Connect into my SQLServer DW:

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The simply process the table and it will process sucessfuly, and the new data will be loaded:

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2 thoughts on “Converting a PowerPivot workbook w/ PowerQuery connections into SSAS Tabular

  1. And of course there was a step right after “Create a table in your datawarehouse with the same name and schema:” where you loaded your data from the Excel workbook into the Employees table, correct?

  2. Hadi says:

    Hi John, Thanks for covering powerquery with SSAS tabular. I learned that the latested version of SQL server 2017 support power query connection. Do you have any advise how to migration powerpivot model built in excel with all powerquery connections? Thanks

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